Local February 6, 2015 | 9:19 am

Relatives of 967K cocaine suspects threaten El Dia reporters

Santo Domingo.- Relatives of two suspects in the smuggling of 967 kilos of cocaine seized by Dominican and US agents near Saona island last weekend, on Thursday threatened reporters of newspaper El Dia, to prevent them from covering the proceedings.

"We know you are the newspaper El Dia and we know where that paper is, in case you publish any of this," said in a threatening tone the wife of one of the two suspects, and who was in the arraignment of the accused Leandro Antonio del Rosario Rosario and Eladio Solibey.

Right after voicing the threats the same person took pictures with his cellphone of both the reporter and photojournalist who covered the trial and said to one of his companions: "Now I have pictures of them and we know where EL Dia is if they dare to publish something."

After yesterday’s arraignment held in Higuey against del Rosario and Solibey, their defense lawyer Luis Taveras approached the journalist and told them to understand that the defendants’ relatives don’t want to figure in the media.

"If it comes out, you are going to know"

One of the woman’s companions insisted: "If the picture is posted you will know. We are going to check the newspaper." Several of them tried physically assault photojournalist, despite the presence of police officers guarding the prisoners at that time.

La Altagracia province (Higuey) District judge Francisco Arias scheduled the next hearing for Monday and ordered Del Rosario to get an attorney within three days or will be assigned a public defender.

Deputy prosecutor Mercedes Santana requested pretrial detention against the defendants charged with drug trafficking.

The National Drugs Control Agency (DNCD) seized the drug worth around US$12 million at US$13,000 per kilo on Saturday, near the village of Catuano, and said it came from South America. Two other suspects still remain at large.

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