Imprisoned French woman files appeal in Mexico

29th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

French national Florence Cassez, convicted of kidnapping and sentenced to 60 years in prison in Mexico, will file an appeal to her sentence on Monday, one her attorneys told AFP.

Cassez signed the documents to file the appeal on Sunday, attorney Frank Berton said.

The appeal "highlights the unconstitutionality of the proceedings and makes clear the innocence of Florence Cassez," Berton said.

"Violations to the Mexican constitution are obvious from the very beginning, considering the way the arrest was made," he said.

Cassez, 35, was arrested in a December 2005 police operation broadcast live on Mexican TV. During the operation several hostages were released and Cassez's ex-boyfriend Israel Vallarta, a Mexican citizen was arrested.

Cassez however claims that she had been arrested the day before, and her lawyer says the arrest was staged.

Vallarta admitted his part in the crimes, but insisted Cassez was innocent.

The appeal was prepared for Berton and her Mexican attorneys Agustin Acosta and Horacio Garcia.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has pressed the Mexican government for Cassez to return to France to serve out her sentence near her parents, but President Felipe Calderon has turn down the request.

© 2010 AFP

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