Congressman intervenes over jailed Jew in Bolivia

By Jennifer Lipman, June 15, 2012

Bolivian ministers have promised to look into the case of an Orthodox Jewish businessman who is being held in Palmasola prison without charge.

New Yorker Jacob Ostreicher has been incarcerated for a year, despite denying the accusations against him.

His case has been taken up by New Jersey Conngressman Chris Smith, who said that Mr Ostreicher was the victim of "an egregious violation of human rights". After his intervention, the Bolivian Interior and Justice ministers have pledged to investigate Mr Ostreicher's case.

The 52-year-old grandfather has been accused by the authorities of allegedly allowing his rice farming business to be used as a front for money-laundering for the drugs trade. Mr Ostreicher denies the allegations and has claimed his situation is "the scam of the century".

Last updated: 12:05pm, June 15 2012