Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bond hearing in Anhang slaying

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A man found guilty of killing a Canadian executive will appear before a judge on Sunday for a bond hearing after spending eight months in prison for a crime that was recently blamed on someone else.

The weekend hearing was scheduled after Puerto Rican authorities on Friday said Jonathan Roman Rivera was innocent and that another man, Alex Pabon Colon, had been charged with the killing.

The U.S. territory's Justice Department has asked that the court release Roman on bond while it reinvestigates the case in light of the new evidence.

A judicial affairs spokesman said Saturday that Roman is expected to appear in court on Sunday.

Prosecutor Rosa Emilia Rodriguez said that Roman and Colon could easily have been mistaken for one another. Roman was sentenced in December to 105 years in prison for the killing of real estate developer Adam Anhang, a Winnipeg native who moved to Puerto Rico a year before the 2005 attack.

The victim's wife, Aurea Vazquez Rijos, has also been charged with having him killed. She has not been arrested and federal authorities said she is living outside the U.S. Caribbean territory.

The newly charged suspects face life in prison if found guilty.

Rivera is currently being held at a maximum security prison in the southern town of Ponce, where he is locked up for 23 hours a day and sees his family once a week, defence attorney Carmelo Davila said.

"He is very anxious," Davila said. "Jonathan wants to be left alone."

Anhang was a wealthy real estate investor who developed beach-front condominiums and hotels, and was also CEO of an online gambling software company based in Costa Rica.

The 32-year-old was attacked as he and Rijos left a restaurant where they had talked about their pending divorce.

Vazquez was slightly injured in the attack and refused to co-operate with the investigation, police said. She later sued Anhang's parents seeking half his assets and earnings acquired during their marriage.

According to the indictment, Vazquez offered Pabon money and lured Anhang to old San Juan the night of his death. The indictment said two other unidentified people were involved in the plot.

Luis Fraticelli, special agent in charge of the FBI in Puerto Rico, has said more arrests are expected.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 8, 2008 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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