The family of Frenchwoman Florence Cassez, imprisoned in Mexico for 60 years on a charge of kidnapping she has always denied, says there is now hope for a retrial and perhaps freedom.
Although, on Wednesday, Mexico’s Supreme Court rejected her immediate liberation three to two, it has asked one of its five members to review the case, which could lead to a retrial, a new sentence, and freedom. There was initially anger at the court’s decision:
“Four Supreme Court judges say that my client had a truncated trial, she had her rights violated, that evidence was fabricated, so today we are angry and ashamed,” said her lawyer Frank Berton.
Judge Olga Sanchez was one of two judges who called for her immediate release, and she will be conducting the review, which has given Cassez’s defence cause for optimism, along with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé:
“There is a very important point, and that is that the Supreme Court recognises she did not have a fair trial, and this is totally essential, so it does give us hope,” he said.
The affair has become a cause celebre in France, and has damaged Franco-Mexican relations to the extent that a cultural “Year of Mexico” in France last year was cancelled.