Judge Edgar Altamirano, head of the Ninth District Penal court in Managua, (one of Daniel Ortega’s loyal and obedient judges assigned to try political prisoners) rescheduled on Tuesday the trial of journalists Miguel Mora and Lucia Pineda Ubau for March 18, 2019 a las 9 a.m.
In addition, he asked the evidence department of the National Police to bring to the trial five CDs containing audiovisuals of the journalists supposedly inciting hatred on television via the 100% Noticias channel.
Julio Montenegro, lawyer for both of the communicators, insisted that the accusation against the journalists “lacks all basis” and argued: “you can’t accuse a person for exercising their freedom to inform.”
Miguel Mora, owner and director of the television news channel 100% Noticias which previously broadcast news 24 hours a day, and Lucia Pineda his news director, have been in jail since December 21, when the station was ransacked and forced to close. They face charges of “fomenting and inciting hatred and violence,” and “provoking, plotting and conspiring to commit terrorist acts.”
The same day that the 100% Noticias channel was raided, the state-run Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Correspondence (Telcor), the body that regulates the communications sector, ordered all cable companies to remove the station from their offerings, which has now occurred.
The site of 100% Noticias was then occupied. On the same day this happened, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), a body set up by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR), presented in Washington a report on the Nicaraguan crisis. The report noted the existence of evidence that the Ortega government has engaged in crimes against humanity.
In the case against 100% Noticias, Criminal court judge Henry Morales, at the request of the assistant prosecutor Lillyam Sosa, also issued an order for the arrest of two other reporters for the station: Luis Galeano and Jackson Orozco, as well as the station’s political commentator, Jaime Arellano. All three immediately left the country and went into exile.
Nicaragua is facing a serious crisis that’s left 325 dead since April, according to the IACHR, although some groups give a higher estimate of up to 561 mortal victims. The executive branch in Nicaragua, however, has recognized only 199 dead, and continues to insist that the uprising was a failed attempt at a Coup d’etat.