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'I was Cassez victim' claim

Tuesday, 13 Mar, 2012 - 02:05

March 13 - A man who says he was a victim of Florence Cassez, convicted of kidnapping in Mexico, urges judges not to free her. Paul Chapman reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL This man says he was one of the victims of a Mexican kidnap ring with which French national Florence Cassez was involved. As a panel of judges prepares to decide whether to overturn Cassez's conviction for abduction, Ezequiel Elizalde says he's in no doubt about her guilt. SOUNDBITE: EZEQUIEL ELIZALDE SAYING (Spanish): "I was the victim of a kidnapping. She threatened me and asked me if I preferred to lose my finger or my ear. She has the right to say that to me but what are my rights?" Cassez was jailed for 60 years in Mexico for kidnapping and other crimes. She was convicted of involvement with a kidnap for ransom ring headed by her former boyfriend. But earlier this month a Mexican Supreme Court judge said her rights were breached, her trial was unfair, and witness testimony unreliable. Human rights campaigner Miranda de Wallace says the review is wrong. SOUNDBITE: MIRANDA DE WALLACE, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST, SAYING (Spanish): "I think that this court review values the rights of criminals whilst completely ignoring the rights of the victims." Cassez's defence lawyer says she's also a victim - of the justice system. SOUNDBITE: AGUSTIN ACOSTA, LAWYER FOR FLORENCE CASSEZ, SAYING (Spanish): "I don't doubt that they were kidnap victims but what I doubt are the testimonies of these people in relation to Florence because they are contradictory, inconsistent, and reflect the cover-up by the police which they have taken part in, voluntarily or involuntarily." Opinion in Mexico is divided over Cassez's fate. Some say her release would send a message that police misconduct would not be tolerated. Others say she should stay behind bars to send a message to kidnappers in a country where abduction and organised crime are rife. Paul Chapman, Reuters

'I was Cassez victim' claim

Tuesday, 13 Mar, 2012 - 02:05

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