Nicaragua’s Birthday “Gift” to U.S. Citizen Jason Puracal: Institutional Kidnapping as “Due Process” is Denied According to The Tolin Law Firm
Posted on May 31, 2011 at 09:05 AM EDT
As he sits in a Nicaraguan prison on his 34th birthday, U.S. citizen Jason Puracal is, according to the attorney for his family Anna M. Tolin of The Tolin Law Firm, left lamenting how a Nicaraguan Court last week made a mockery of justice and turned his wrongful detention into a full blown, government-sanctioned kidnapping.
According to Tolin, Jason, who has been imprisoned for over six months without trial or evidence of committed crimes, was denied due process by Nicaraguan Judge Diogenes Davila. This is a move in violation of the Nicaraguan Constitution and prohibited by previous rulings of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court.
Defense attorney Fabbrith Gomez, Puracal's Nicaraguan counsel, protested Jason’s over-six-month-long wrongful detainment, but Judge Davila refused to even rule on this motion. Gomez has requested another hearing, unlikely to be ruled upon until the morning of June 15th when the case is set for trial.
According to Tolin, Jason was taken to the courthouse with his head bagged and forced to sit with his head between his knees for the two-hour ride there. The defense attorneys had to plead the judge to allow the defendant food, and Jason had to beg to use the bathroom.
Judge Davila has refused to rule on Jason’s wrongful detainment, and most alarmingly, Puracal's defense attorneys contend that Rivas Police Commissioner Oscar Aleman was seen leaving the Judge's chambers during the Court's first break.
According to Gomez, “Judge Davila met with Aleman while deliberating on the motions by the defense, clearly indicating his failure to act independently and his aligning fully with prosecutor Giscard Antonio Moraga Guillen.”
In a letter written after the hearing, Jason described his outrage:
“I cannot even begin to describe how I feel right now. Kidnapped by the police from day one; human, civil, & constitutional rights violated; suffering physically, mentally, psychologically; and the judicial system of Nicaragua continues to ignore their own laws to keep me where I am.”
Puracal, who is from Seattle, was featured on HGTV’s hit reality series “House Hunters International” this year.
In an announcement made on May 4th, U.S. Congressman Adam Smith raised concern over Jason’s case, saying, “In the nearly six months Mr. Puracal has been behind bars, the Nicaraguan authorities have presented no evidence linking him to any crime. There are also disturbing reports of Mr. Puracal being mistreated and denied medical care while in jail.”
Jason's wife, Scarleth Flores Puracal, who had been in the U.S. for security measures, has returned to Nicaragua with their four-year-old son, Jabu, to fight for the release of her husband.
Jason's mother and sisters in Seattle continue to urge U.S. supporters to flood their congressional representatives with letters insisting upon action.
Find contact information for Senators, Congressmen, the State Department, and President Obama at www.FreeJasonP.com.
The U.S. Embassy and the Nicaraguan Embassy also need to feel the pressure. You can write to them at:
Embassy, Republic of Nicaragua
Embassy, United States of America
Tony Prado, 310-271-1551
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