One Judge says Cardiff mum can be released from Caribbean jail but two others reject call
A judge has ruled in favour of a Cardiff mother being freed after spending 15 months in prison on a Caribbean island.
Nicole Reyes, 37, denies killing her husband Jorge in a car and motorbike crash in the Dominican Republic in July last year.
Since then, she has remained behind bars on the island while she awaits trial – 4,000 miles away from her parents, children and new baby grandson at home in Rumney.
Nicole appeared in court in the Puerto Plata part of the island on October 3 for a Habeas Corpus hearing.
Her mother Jeannette Clements said one of the judges presiding over the hearing, the President of the Court of Appeals of Puerto Plata, ruled in favour of setting her free but that the other two judges disagreed.
An email sent by a Foreign and Commonwealth Office member of staff to Mrs Clements, seen by the Echo, confirmed this.
It read: “One of the judges of the court ruled in favour of setting Mrs Reyes free based on the illegality of her [being in] prison, but the two remaining judges did not, meaning that the majority vote which prevailed was to maintain Mrs Reyes in prison.”
The majority decision taken by the other two judges, who as a trio make up the Court of Appeals of Puerto Plata, meant Nicole was ordered to remain in prison.
Jeannette said they are still waiting for the outcome of an appeal to move her case from Puerto Plata.
She claims her daughter has now been held illegally for three months after being locked behind bars for over 12 months without the offer of bail.
She said she is “disgusted” with the lack of help from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and has sent copies of the 2,000 signatures she has collected, which call for Nicole to have a fair trial, to Prime Minister David Cameron asking for advice on what she should do next to help her daughter.
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was unable to confirm or deny details on the Habeas Corpus hearing.
But said: “We are aware that a British national, Nicole Reyes, was charged in July 2012 and has since been held in detention pending trial.
“We have been providing consular assistance to Mrs Reyes and her family since her detention and we continue to do so.
“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. We are speaking with Ms Reyes’ lawyers to ascertain if there is anything further that we can do to assist them.”
To sign the petition, go to www.gopetition.com/petitions/support-nicole-reyes-to-receive-a-fair-trial.html
Category: DR News |