Benjamin Geer on Sat, 14 Aug 2004 05:36:45 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> France extradites leftist from Mexico

An echo of the Cesare Battisti case: this time the accused is French. 
After a failed bank robbery attempt in Paris that left several hostages 
wounded, Hélène Castel fled to Mexico.  Like Battisti, she was convicted 
in absentia and sentenced to life in prison.  She made a new life for 
herself in Mexico, where she lived peacefully for 24 years.

This year, the French police reopened the case; she was arrested in May, 
four days before the statute of limitations expired.  She was extradited 
to France, where she will face trial.

_Libération_ deplores the "insincerity" of the self-serving French 
police, who have denied Ms. Castel the "right to forget".[1]  The 
leftist newspaper _L'Humanité_ laments: "Mexico is no longer the land of 
asylum that it once was."[2]

After the Battisti case, it is ironic to hear that France is actually 
just like Italy: the sort of country that sentences people to life in 
prison in absentia, and whose rule of law is so bad that people ought to 
be able escape it and be granted asylum elsewhere.



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