Appeal to free Nicole Reyes from Dominican Republic jail
The family of a woman held without charge in the Caribbean on suspicion of killing her husband has appealed for help to free her from jail.
Nicole Reyes, 37, from Cardiff, was locked up last July after husband Jorge Quintanilla, 38, died in a road crash in the Dominican Republic.
He was riding his motorcycle alongside Ms Reyes’ Toyota SUV when she said she accidentally ran him over.
The Foreign Office said “appropriate” consular assistance had been given.
Ms Reyes moved to the Caribbean country in 2004 with her children Luke, then seven, and eight-year-old Leah, and parents, Michael and Jeanette Clements, all from Rumney in Cardiff.
She met and married former coconut seller Mr Quintanilla and found work as a rep with holiday travel company Thomas Cook.
But her children moved back to Wales in 2007, aged 10 and 11, with their grandparents because they did not like the country.
Then on July 10 last year Ms Reyes was driving home from a night out with friends at a hotel along an unlit road while her husband rode his motorbike alongside her.
Mrs Clements said her daughter told her husband, who was not wearing a helmet, to move away from the middle of the road.
But Ms Reyes said she touched the back of his bike with her car and he came off.
Mrs Clements said: “She was looking for him but couldn’t find him and then realised he was under the jeep and was screaming to people standing nearby for help.”
But Mrs Clements said the culture on the island is not to help or become involved in traffic accidents for fear of being blamed.
An ambulance took Mr Quintanilla to hospital but he was found to be dead.
Ms Reyes was taken to a police station and has never been charged or released.
She was first kept in the Puerto Plata part of the island and then transferred to Santiago, where she is due to stand trial on Thursday.
Mrs Clements said: “It’s horrendous. She’s not been charged, she’s living in the most appalling conditions and she has quite a few health problems.
“I just want her out of there but we just don’t know what to do anymore.”
Mr and Mrs Clements have already spent £95,000 in legal and medical fees to help their daughter, who is living on a diet of prunes and crackers.
Ms Reyes’ daughter, Leah Jackson, who is due to give birth in August, said: “It’s really hard going through this without my mum.”
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesperson said: “We are aware of the detention of British national Nicole Reyes in connection with the death of a Dominican national.
“We are providing consular assistance to Ms Reyes and to her family. Stephen Doughty MP and Mr and Mrs Clements met FCO officials on 3 April to discuss the level of support we can provide.
“We appreciate this continues to be a difficult time for Ms Reyes and her family.
“The appropriate consular assistance has been given to Ms Reyes and her family and will continue to be provided.
“We cannot interfere in the judicial process of another country, and must respect their systems just as we expect them to respect the UK’s laws and legal processes.”
Source: BBC News
Category: DR News |