Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

Americas

Justice to argue rights of jailed French woman may have been violated

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-08

A Mexican Supreme Court justice will argue that Florence Cassez, a French woman sentenced to serve 60 years behind bars in Mexico for kidnapping, should be released because her rights were violated, according to a court opinion released Wednesday.

AP - A Mexican Supreme Court justice will argue that a French woman serving a 60-year sentence for kidnapping should be released because authorities violated her rights, according to a written opinion released by the court on Wednesday.

The opinion by Justice Arturo Zaldivar now must be discussed and voted on by a five-justice panel of the court, and no date has been set for that discussion.

Zaldivar’s opinion comes after a lingering diplomatic dispute between France and Mexico over Florence Cassez, who was arrested in 2005 and convicted of helping a kidnapping gang allegedly led by her boyfriend.

Cassez has denied any involvement in the abductions, though she lived at the compound on the outskirts of Mexico City where victims were held in outbuildings. She said she was unaware of their presence.

Zaldivar wrote that Mexican police violated her right to consular assistance, because they failed to immediately notify French consular officials of Cassez’s arrest.

That is a sensitive point, since Mexico has often defended its citizens in the United States on the same grounds.

The opinion also notes that police took Cassez to the scene of the kidnappings for a re-enactment of her detention, when she should have been brought before a court. Police have said the re-enacted the detention to allow news media to tape it.

“These violations completely affected the trial process, in as much as they had a devastating effect on other fundamental rights, such as the right to be presumed innocent and the right to an adequate defense,” Zaldivar wrote.

The Supreme Court appeal, filed a year ago by Cassez’s lawyers, is her final legal recourse in Mexico. But any voiding of her conviction would be a serious setback for the Mexican government, which has repeatedly defended her arrest and rebuffed requests by France that she be returned to her home country.

Cassez’s attorney, Agustin Acosta, said it’s very likely the Supreme Court will rule her way on March 21, the scheduled date for the justices to meet.

“There is finally, finally, finally, a light that brightens the dark 6-year tunnel Florence Cassez has gone through,” he said.

Acosta said he spoke to Cassez “She has been quiet, but she is clearly hopeful.”
 

Date created : 2012-03-08

  • FRANCE

    Cassez appeals to Mexico Supreme Court over 60-year sentence

    Read more

  • MEXICO

    Frenchwoman appeals kidnapping sentence

    Read more

  • MEXICO

    Investigation into possible miscarriage of justice raises hopes for Cassez

    Read more

COMMENT(S)