Mexico’s Supreme Court releases alleged French kidnapper

This past Wednesday, Mexico’s Supreme Court ordered the release of a Florence Cassez, a Frenchwoman who was convicted on kidnapping charges in 2008 and sentenced to 60 years in prison.  In a 3-2 decision, the Supreme Court overturned that ruling and ordered her release.

According to CNN, the case drew “national attention in Mexico and increased diplomatic tensions with France.” In addition, CNN notes that French officials have “pushed” for Cassez to be released and asked Mexico’s Supreme Court to consider the case.

Cassez was arrested with her boyfriend in 2005 for allegedly being part of the Zodiaco criminal gang and participating in at least three kidnappings.  Cassez denied having any knowledge of her boyfriend’s criminal activities and alleged that Mexican police staged her arrest for television cameras.

According to Cassez’s lawyer, she was “very excited” about the Supreme Court ruling.  Attorney Agustin Acosta added that “It is a historic decision and a precedent in the defense of human rights.”

However, according to Isabel Miranda de Wallace, an anti-crime advocate and the president of a well-known Mexican anti-kidnapping group,  “…this opens the door to impunity and leaves the victims empty-handed.”

French President Francois Hollande praised the court the Supreme Court’s decision and Cassez’s release. ”The thoughts of the head of state go to Florence Cassez, her family and those close to her,” his office said in a statement. “For them, as for all of those who have mobilized for our compatriot, this is a particularly painful period that has come to an end.”

On the same note, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he “He welcomes the prospect of seeing Florence Cassez return to France as soon as possible” while expressing his “deep solidarity” to “everyone who helped her in her fight for truth and justice.”

Source: CNN

Photograph: BBC, Reuters


One comment

  1. Although this historic decision sets a new precedent for human rights, comments like those of Isabel Miranda de Wallace tend to put this decision in a negative light. To say that “this opens the door to impunity and leaves the victims empty-handed”, is to completely distort the real issue. The issue here is not about the victims of the crime. It is about wrongfully convicting people for crimes they have not committed. The Supreme Court clearly believed that this woman should have been released. To say that the victims receive no justice is completely untrue. Were they really receiving justice by imprisoning someone who did not commit the crime? It was nothing but a false feeling of closure.

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