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Sean Penn in direct appeal to Bolivia's leader


February 19. 2013 9:48PM
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(AP) Sean Penn has made a direct public appeal to Bolivia's president to order the immediate release of a New York businessman who has been jailed for 18 months without charge and who helped uncover a shakedown ring led by prosecutors.


Penn made the appeal at a news conference with Jacob Ostreicher on Wednesday, a day after an appeals panel sent the man's case back to a lower court. The actor interceded on Ostreicher's behalf in late October, and a government probe subsequently yielded eight arrests, with more expected.


Penn thanked President Evo Morales for ordering the investigation. He called the shakedown ring a cancer attacking at Bolivia's heart and creating an existential crisis for Morales.


Penn said that he would complain to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights if necessary.


Associated Press


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