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Wednesday, February 10, 1999 Published at 01:52 GMT


World: Americas

Guatemalan priest must stay in prison


A Guatemalan judge has ruled that a Roman Catholic priest must remain in prison pending his hearing on a charge of killing Bishop Juan Gerardi last year.

The country's chief prosecutor had asked for Mario Orantes, who has suffered ill-health since his arrest in July, to be set free on humanitarian grounds.

But the judge, Henry Monroy, decided against granting a pre-trial release, saying the request was legally inadmissible.

The judge will decide next Tuesday if there is enough evidence to charge Father Orantes.

The priest has always maintained his innocence.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service



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