SUNDAY
March 25, 2001
volume 12, no. 84

Guatamala Bishop-Murder Trial Delayed After Courtroom Chaos



    GUATEMALA CITY, Mar. 23, 01 (CWNews.com) - The trial of five people accused of the 1998 murder of a Guatemalan bishop was unexpectedly delayed again on Thursday after one defendant failed to show up, a judge's home was attacked, and another defendant causing a ruckus in the courtroom.

    Presiding Judge Eduardo Cojulum postponed the long-awaited trial until Friday after sending a doctor to examine retired army Col. Disrael Lima, a defendant who failed to turn up in court reportedly due to heart problems. Capt. Byron Lima, another defendant and Disrael's son, yelled out in court: "Wake up soldiers, we have a common enemy." The younger Lima has contended that soldiers cannot receive a fair trial in the civilian court. The other defendants include a former presidential bodyguard, a priest, and the bishop's housekeeper.

    Bishop Juan Jose Gerardi Conedera was bludgeoned to death at his home on April 26, 1998, two days after releasing a report that blamed most of the 200,000 deaths in Guatemala's 36-year civil war on the army and its paramilitary supporters.

    Judge Yasmin Barrios was attacked by unknown assailants who threw grenades at her home on Wednesday. Five other prosecutors and judges have recused themselves during the three-year-long investigation after being threatened, although Barrios has committed to continuing her participation.


March 25, 2001
volume 12, no. 84
News from the Universal Church
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