UPDATE: Welsh mum accused of killing her husband is ‘illegally detained’ in Caribbean jail
The parents of a Cardiff woman jailed in the Dominican Republic more than a year ago after being accused of killing her husband claim she is now being held there illegally.
Nicole Reyes, 37, was arrested when her husband Jorge, 38, died in a car crash involving her Jeep and his motorbike on July 9 last year on the Caribbean island.
But Nicole’s parents, Jeannette and Mike Clements, claim this is now unlawful because she has been behind bars for more than a year and has not been offered bail.
WalesOnline spoke to the office of Nicole’s lawyer, Edwardo Trueba, in the Dominican Republic who said Ms Reyes “is in prison illegally at this point”.
A spokesman for his office explained how an earlier bail hearing had been postponed because of a hurricane.
He said Mr Trueba filed a Haebus Corpus in Santiago last Thursday. This is a legal action which requires a person detained by the authorities to be brought before the courts so the legality of the detention may be questioned.
But the spokesman said the judge told him the Santiago court was “incompetent” of hearing it because the incident had happened out of its jurisdiction in the Puerto Plata part of the island.
The spokesman said they tried to argue this was “incorrect” and said Nicole is a serving inmate in Santiago.
But he said this was rejected and claims that it is now a “renowned case” and so “nobody wants to be the one to make the vital decision” on it.
The spokesman said they will be appealing last week’s decision at the Court of Appeal in Santiago today.
Mr Trueba had also filed a petition to the Supreme Court of Justice to have the case moved from Puerto Plata and are waiting for a decision on this.
The spokesman said this was submitted because “we do not trust proceedings will be neutral” in Puerto Plata.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesman said it has been providing consular assistance to Ms Reyes and her family and continues to do so.
When asked about the length of time Nicole has remained behind bars, the spokesman said: “This is a matter for the Dominican authorities and the case is proceeding within the limits and timescales of Dominican law.
“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.”
Category: DR News |