LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) - A judge in Bolivia has released a New York businessman who has been jailed for 18 months without charge and who helped uncover a shakedown ring led by prosecutors. Jacob Ostreicher will now be under house arrest while the authorities finish investigating his money laundering case.
The 54-year-old American hugged his wife and his lawyers after hearing the judge's ruling.
Judge Eneas Gentilli set bail at the equivalent of $14,400 and ordered Ostreicher to remain under house arrest in the city of Santa Cruz.
The decision came days after American actor Sean Penn made a direct public appeal to Bolivian President Evo Morales to order him freed.