Bolivia frees seven Brazilian football fans, holds five over boy's death

La PAZ Fri Jun 7, 2013 3:48pm BST

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La PAZ (Reuters) - A Bolivian judge has freed seven of the 12 Brazilian football fans held since February as part of an investigation into the death of a Bolivian boy from a flare allegedly launched by supporters of Brazil's Corinthians football club.

Five of the Brazilians remains in custody and will be tried over the death of the 14-year-old boy during a South American Libertadores Cup match in February.

He was hit in the eye and died almost instantly according to the doctor who attended to him.

A dozen Corinthians supporters were initially arrested and a criminal investigation was opened. The seven freed Brazilians, whose names were not announced, were expected to return to Brazil on Friday, authorities said.

The prosecutor in the case, Ruben Arancibia, told local radio that judge Julio Huarachi released seven of the 12 after weighing evidence against the group.

"It may seem that they were held a long time before being released, but you have to understand that an exhaustive investigation had to take place to get the necessary evidence and make the right decision," Arancibia said.

(Reporting by Carlos Quiroga; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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