2 men convicted in killing of Nicaraguan journalist
MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — A judge in Nicaragua has convicted two young men in the killing of a journalist during the early days of the unrest that has shaken the country, but the reporter’s widow said Tuesday that the accused had nothing to do with her husband’s murder.
Angel Gahona was broadcasting from an April 21 protest in front of city hall in the Caribbean coast city of Bluefields via Facebook when he was shot in the head.
Gahona’s widow, Migueliuth Sandoval, said the two men convicted in a closed proceeding are innocent.
“This decision is humiliating, it doesn’t give us justice, because we know that these guys didn’t kill my husband, that those who really did it are riot police, because there are videos indicating it, (showing) that my husband was surrounded by police,” Sandoval said.
“Of the 18 witnesses presented by prosecutors, none could say for sure that these guys shot my husband,” she said. “The decision does not satisfy us because the killer is free and two innocents are condemned.”
Brandon Lovo, 19, and Glen Slate, 20, could face 20 to 25 years in prison. It was the first case related to the unrest to arrive at a conviction. Their defense asserted that there was reasonable doubt because no one connected them to the crime, but Judge Ernesto Rodriguez ruled against them.
An international team of experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was denied access to the courtroom.
Team member Amerigo Incalcaterra told local press that they had gone through the proper channels with the foreign ministry to gain access, but were still turned away.
“We hope that it was just a miscommunication and that communication between state institutions is clarified,” Incalcaterra said. “Maybe the phones, faxes and internet don’t work.”