The Nicaraguan priest Óscar Danilo Benavidez Dávila, a critic of the Daniel Ortega regime, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the crime of conspiracy and propagation of false news to the detriment of the State of Nicaragua and society, independent media reported this Saturday.
The 49-year-old religious man, who has been detained since August 14, was sentenced by Judge Nancy del Carmen Aguirre Gudiel, head of the Managua Tenth Criminal Trial District Court, in a hearing held behind closed doors.
The court also imposed a fine of 49,917 córdobas (1,375 dollars) on the priest Benavidez Dávila, parish priest of the Espíritu Santo parish, in the municipality of Mulukuku, in the Autonomous Region of the North Caribbean of Nicaragua.
According to the breakdown of the sentence, Judge Aguirre Gudiel sentenced the priest to five years in jail for the crime of conspiracy and undermining national integrity, and another five for the crime of spreading false news.
The priest Benavidez Dávila was found guilty on January 16 and during the exchange of sentence requests, the Public Ministry requested an 8-year sentence, five for the crime of conspiracy and three for spreading false news.
Ten priests behind bars
The priest is the first Nicaraguan priest convicted under the figure of conspiracy and false news, under a judicial system that operates under the control of Daniel Ortega.
According to the online page of the Judiciary, the sentence against the Nicaraguan priest was read on January 24.
Benavidez is one of ten priests accused in Nicaragua, including the Bishop Rolando José Álvarez Lagos, kidnapped by police officers on August 19, together with four other priests from the episcopal palace of the Diocese of Matagalpa after having been confined for 15 days.
Álvarez, 56 years old and who is under “household protection” in Managua, according to the National Police, will face trial on March 28.
President Ortega called the Nicaraguan bishops who acted as mediators in a national dialogue seeking a peaceful solution to the crisis that the country has been experiencing since April 2018 as “terrorists.”
The number of people considered political prisoners in Nicaragua increased to 245 as of last January, 30 of them women. (YO)
At 247 News Agency, Jason has covered a wide range of topics, from politics and business to crime and entertainment. He is highly respected by his colleagues and peers, and his articles are widely read and shared. With a passion for news and a commitment to accuracy, Jason Root is a valuable asset to the 247 News Agency team.