SALT LAKE CITY — Riverton native Josh Holt attended court Tuesday in Caracas, Venezuela, but his hearing was pushed back yet again, this time until Dec. 6, his attorney said.
After two previous no-shows, the judge overseeing Holt's case was also present, but Holt's hearing was postponed anyway. No official explanation was given, said Holt's attorney, Jeannette Prieto.
"There is no justification as to why today’s court (hearing) did not happen. We suppose this case is being managed on a political level, but I am a stranger to that," Prieto told an NBC News crew.
The attorney was critical of the handling of Holt's case, calling it a "denial of justice."
Holt was arrested June 30 amid allegations from Venezuelan law enforcement that he was hoarding weapons at an apartment in Caracas where he lived with his newlywed wife, Theresa Caleno. Caleno was also arrested for allegations of being an accomplice to Holt. The two had married after meeting online.
Holt's family, as well as Sen Orrin Hatch and Rep Mia Love, both R-Utah, have called his arrest an obvious political ploy in a troubled country. Secretary of State John Kerry and another high-ranking U.S. State Department official have met with Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro since Holt's arrest.
The diplomatic meetings were arranged to urge Venezuelan authorities to show "respect for due process and human rights" in Holt's case, State Department spokesman John Kirby said earlier this month.
On Tuesday, Prieto echoed the statements of Holt's family about his poor health. She said his kidneys are unhealthy and he has had breathing difficulties.
Hatch, in a video statement Tuesday, called the new delay in Holt's case "very disappointing."
"However, we are continuing to work on a variety of fronts to bring Josh and his wife home," Hatch said. "The Venezuelan government knows that we will not relent until Josh is reunited with his entire family here in the United States."
The senator added that he has been in touch with Venezuelan diplomatic officials.
Holt's mother, Laurie Holt, expressed her frustration in a Facebook post Tuesday.
"A call from higher up postponed the hearing again," she wrote. "I will pull myself up, dust myself off (and) move forward tomorrow. I just need today to not be so tough."