For the third time in as many months, Venezuelan courts on Tuesday refused to hold a preliminary hearing in the highly-politicized case of Josh Holt, a Utah man who has been in jail on weapons charges since June.
According to his defense, the police escort transferring Holt from the detention center to the court was about an hour late, and the judge said that was the reason to reschedule the hearing for Dec. 6.
Such transport delays are commonplace, said Holt’s lawyer, Jeannette Prieto. Judges usually work around them, she said.
“It’s evident that this is an unjustified delay in the process,” she said, particularly since government prosecutors were also present and waiting to make their case. “Justice is being denied.”
Holt’s hearing was originally scheduled for September, but has been postponed repeatedly.
Holt, a former Mormon missionary, and his Venezuelan wife, Thamara Caleño, were arrested on June 30 after authorities said they found a hand-grenade and automatic rifle in the apartment they shared. Holt’s defense and eye-witnesses to the raid have said the weapons were planted.