Bolivian general who led failed coup gets six months pre-trial detention

Bolivian General Juan Jose Zuniga is presented following his arrest by the authorities for a coup attempt in La Paz

LA PAZ (Reuters) -Detained Bolivian general Juan Jose Zuniga was ordered to six months "preventive detention" for his role leading a failed coup against the government earlier in the week, a top prosecutor said on Friday.

The Attorney General's Office requested the six months detention and said other government bodies, including the Defense Ministry and Interior Ministry, supported the request "due to the importance and seriousness of the events that occurred," state prosecutor Cesar Siles said.

"This preventive detention that the judge is ordering will undoubtedly set a precedent and a good signal so that this investigation can continue to advance," Siles added.

Before being arrested on Wednesday, Zuniga led military units to gather in the main square of capital La Paz, home to the presidential palace and Congress. An armored vehicle rammed a palace door to allow soldiers to rush into the building.

Zuniga has been handed a terrorism charge, which carries 15-20 years in prison, Siles said, as well as a charge for an armed uprising, which carries a sentence of 5-15 years.

Zuniga has said he was following an order from President Luis Arce, who has denied having any involvement in or prior knowledge of Zuniga's operation.

(Reporting by Daniel Ramos; Writing by Brendan O'Boyle; Editing by Aida Pelaez-Fernandez and Himani Sarkar)