Brazilian suspect in murder of British journalist and Amazon expert granted house arrest

3. Brazilian Suspect
British journalist Dom Phillips was shot dead on June 5 in Brazil’s Javari Valley, along with Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira. (Photo: Twitter)
BRASILIA  — A Brazilian judge has allowed one of the suspects in the murder of British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira to be released on bail to house arrest, local media said on Monday.اضافة اعلان

Ruben da Silva Villar, also known as “Colombia”, was released last Friday, according to local press reports, after a ruling made three days earlier and which AFP gained access to on Monday.

Federal judge Fabiano Verli ruled that Villar, who had been in custody since July, could pay 15,000 Brazilian reais — about $2,800 dollars — and await trial at an address in Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas.

“The favored person is not a child and must strictly comply with the conditions for this legal favor,” Verli ruled, stipulating that the accused must present himself to authorities in Manaus every month and will be monitored by means of an electronic device on his ankle.

Phillips, 57, and Pereira, 41, were shot dead on June 5 in the Javari Valley, a jungle region near the Brazilian border with Peru and Colombia which is plagued by illegal fishing, logging, mining, and drug trafficking.

Pereira had been working to stop illegal fishing in the Javari Valley indigenous reserve, a territory larger than Austria, with the largest concentration of uncontacted tribes on Earth.

Phillips, a freelance journalist for The Guardian, the New York Times, and other newspapers, was traveling with him to write a book called “How to Save the Amazon”.

Native leaders cooperating with Pereira accused Villar of ordering the expert’s death for organizing Indigenous patrols that seized lucrative hauls of illegally caught fish.

Police have said Villar, a suspected drug trafficker, led a group “responsible for selling large amounts of fish for export to neighboring countries”.

During his house arrest, Villar will not be able to leave the country and he has been forced to surrender his passport.

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