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Dominican General Arrested

January 9, 1999

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) _ A Dominican Air Force general was arrested Saturday as part of an investigation into the 1994 disappearance of a journalist.

Judge Eduardo Sanchez ordered the detention of Leonardo Reyes Bencosme to keep him from tampering with evidence or influencing witnesses in the Gonzalez case. He also named him as a suspect in the case.

Narcizo Gonzalez, a journalist and university professor, disappeared in May 1994. He had accused the armed forces of participating in electoral fraud to help former President Joaquin Balaguer win re-election.

Irregularities in the 1994 election led to international criticism and internal dissent that eventually forced Balaguer, now 92, to cut short his four-year term and agree to leave office and hold new elections in 1996.

Three other generals have been held since 1997 in connection with the 1975 death of another journalist, Orlando Martinez, also a Balaguer critic.

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