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Prosecutor, Former U.N. Delegate Break With Government

March 2, 1988

GENEVA (AP) _ A state prosecutor and a former U.N. human rights delegate from Nicaragua announced their defection Wednesday and accused the Sandinista government of torture, keeping political prisoners and rigging the judiciary.

Ivan Villavicencio said he had been an appeals prosecutor in the district of Managua, the capital, since March 1983.

Norman Jose Miranda, a Foreign Ministry official for eight years, was an alternative representative at the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva during 1985-87 and said he left Nicaragua to avoid holding the same post this year.

The two men called a news conference to announce their ″resignation,″ timed to coincide with the U.N. commission’s annual session.

Both said they remained Sandinista supporters, but were disillusioned with the leftist government’s ″deception″ of the Nicaraguan people.

They said they moved to the United States, where they have family and friends, in the last three months and would resign officially shortly.

Villavicencio said Nicaraguan jails hold 8,600 political prisoners and said torture is used against peasants opposing government policies.

He said a ″reprehensible permanent alliance″ exists between police and judicial authorities and judges are pressured to convict on the basis of fabricated charges. The government is pushing a pilot project to hand over the administration of justice to political commissars, he said.

Miranda said Nicaragua is undergoing a ″Stalinist social drama.″

He said the Nicaraguan delegation at the Human Rights Commission in fact took instructions from delegates of allies, such as Cuba.

The Sandinistas came to power in Nicaragua in a 1979 revolution that toppled dictator Anastasio Somoza. U.S.-backed rebels have been fighting the government since 1981.

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