Political Trial for Nicaragua’s “Water Carriers” Suspended

Several former prisoners, called the water carriers, raise bottled water while waiting for an initial hearing in the judicial complex of Managua. Photo: EFE / Jorge Torres

Young people arrived at the judicial complex wearing T-shirts with the slogan “we are missing 65,” in reference to the current number of Ortega’s political prisoners

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Alleging that it was not on the court docket, the initial trial hearing against the so-called “Water carriers” was suspended this Thursday in Managua. A guard of the judicial complex informed the defense lawyers of the opposition activists that they will be notified through an edict on the rescheduling date.

“There was no trial, we did not pass to the courtroom,” said Olga Valle, one of the defendants, upon leaving the Managua Judicial Complex.

The Ortega regime carries out this political process against 16 young people, who were captured last November 14 by the Police when they tried to bring water to the mothers who were on a hunger strike at the San Miguel Church, in Masaya. The regime accuses them of arms trafficking. In charge of the process is Judge Edgar Altamirano, of the Ninth District Criminal Court of Managua.

The defendants arrived at 8:00 a.m. at the judicial complex wearing T-shirts with the slogan “we are missing 65,” in reference to the political prisoners that the regime still maintains. However, the guards forced them to change their shirts, otherwise they would not be allowed to enter the court.

They demand judicial responsibility 

The defendants tried to ask the judge about their legal status, since they were released on December 30, 2019, “under an anomalous process.”

“Without court orders or anything. We want to know if they will give us a final acquittal sentence,” explained Jesus Tefel, one of the defendants. “We demand responsibility in our case. We have already spent 46 days locked up in vain, and the least they can do to amend this misdeed is to make a notification where they acquit everything once and for all,” he added.

Defense lawyer Julio Montenegro complained about the “irregularity” in the suspension of the trial. “What the judge said was that we lawyers should leave, that the hearing was not going to be held. There is a disorder caused by the judicial authority, because its obligation was to have notified us,” said Montenegro.

Altamirano informed of his decision when seven of the 16 defendants, under house arrest since December 30th, had already entered the court.   

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