LA PAZ, Bolivia — A Bolivian judge on Tuesday released a New York businessman and granted him house arrest after he was jailed for 18 months without charge despite strong evidence that he was fleeced and extorted by corrupt prosecutors.
Jacob Ostreicher hugged his wife and his lawyers after hearing the judge’s ruling. The 53-year-old American had been in a medical clinic for more than a month since being weakened by a liquids-only hunger strike.
He will now be under house arrest while the authorities finish investigating his money laundering case.
Ostreicher was never charged with any crime, and the people who led his prosecution, including the No. 1 legal adviser in the Interior Ministry, are now themselves in jail, accused of belonging to a shakedown ring that authorities say preyed on people deemed to have deep pockets.