Lillesand woman's family: justice has won
The 21-year-old Lillesand woman has been acquitted of trying to smuggle cocaine into Norway from Bolivia.
The woman’s lawyer, Carl Bore, has confirmed this to NRK.
The 21-year-old, along with four other persons, were indicted in the Oslo District Court for attempt or complicity in cocaine smuggling from Bolivia.
“This has been like a nightmare for her for three and a half years. Even with the knowledge that she was guilty, she had no control over what has happened. Therefore it is of course very gratifying to read a sentence that acquitted her of her concerns.”
Carl Bore has talked with the woman herself and her family today.
“They express great satisfaction with the District Court’s acquittal. They say that she is now ready to put this matter behind her and concentrate on her media education,” says Bore to NRK.
“The family says they feel justice has prevailed. This has been a big burden for them for three and a half years.”
Through the five-week trial in Oslo District Court, both relatives and friends attended almost every day to support the woman.
The prosecutor in the case, District Attorney Peter Mandt, asked for six and a half years in prison for the woman and will now consider whether the decision will be appealed.
“We will use the time now until the appeal deadline to have a thorough review of the judgments to consider whether to appeal any decisions,” says Mandt to NRK.
“Can you say right now if you want to appeal the acquittal of the Lillesand woman?”
“No, it is too early to answer. The appeal period expires in two weeks, and we will use the time well,” says Mandt.
“The verdict is very thorough in terms of our client’s case, as assessed over five pages. I see no need for a new trial. It is also the case that after bearing this burden for three and a half years, it is now time that she can put this behind her and move on with her life,” says Bore.
The woman from Lillesand, whose name has not been divulged to the media, was arrested along with Stina Brendemo Hagen and Madeleine Rodriguez May 19, 2008 at the airport in Cochabamba, Bolivia with what was first reported to be 22.4 kilograms of cocaine in their luggage.
Later, the prosecutor in charge lowered the size of the cocaine seizure to 11 kilos, because it turned out that the cocaine was not properly weighed.
The 21-year-old escaped from Bolivia before the trial started there, and was put on trial in Oslo District Court along with four alleged traffickers.
The woman was the only one of the five defendants in the Oslo City Court who was not accused of belonging to an organized criminal group, in accordance with the so-called “mafia section,” Penal Code section 60A.
The other four defendants were convicted.
A 26-year-old man was sentenced to five years imprisonment, a 22-year-old man to prison for six years and six months and a fine of 10,000 dollars, a 25-year-old man to five years and six months imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 dollars, a 23-year-old woman sentenced to prison for five years and six months, which two years made conditional.
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