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Friday, February 5, 1999 Published at 22:55 GMT

World: Americas

New twist in bishop murder case in Guatemala

There has been a further twist in the long-running investigation in Guatemala into the murder of Bishop Juan Gerardi last April.

The public prosecutor's office is in favour of Mario Orantes, the priest arrested for the killing, being released from prison, provided he remains available for further questioning.

The prosecutor wants the Roman Catholic Church to act as guarantor that Father Orantes will remain in the country.

The priest, who has been in custody since July, has always maintained his innocence.

Bishop Gerardi was killed just days after publishing a report accusing the Guatemalan military of responsibility for most of the atrocities in the civil war.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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