Daily Israel Report

After 18 Months, Hareidi to be Released from Bolivian Prison

Hareidi businessman Yaakov Estriecher is to be released to house arrest in Bolivia, after being imprisoned for a year and a half.
By David Lev
First Publish: 12/19/2012, 7:17 AM

Prison - illustrative
Prison - illustrative
Flash 90

After being imprisoned for a year and a half without charges, hareidi-religious businessman Yaakov Estriecher is to be released to house arrest in Bolivia. The change comes after extensive investigations by Bolivian authorities into business dealings by Estreicher with government officials who are suspected of corruption.

The alleged case against Estreicher is extensive and complicated, ranging from charges that he failed to pay taxes to bribery of government officials. So far, authorities have failed to prove any of the charges against him, and by law, authorities can no longer hold him in prison unless he is convicted at trial.

With that, Estreicher is unlikely to get permission to leave the country. Despite failing to convict him of anything, courts in Bolivia refused to release him to house arrest, even for the period of the High Holidays.

The Estreicher case has recently become even more complicated, as a number of government officials have been arrested for attempting to extort money from the hareidi-religious prisoner, promising him that they could set him free. An investigation has been opened into those officials, and Estreicher may be called upon to testify at their trials.