UN group urges release of American in Nicaraguan prison

May 30, 2012 08:43

A United Nations group has called for the immediate release of a US citizen serving a 22-year prison sentence in Nicaragua for drug trafficking and money laundering, concluding that he was wrongly convicted, his supporters announced on Wednesday.

Jason Puracal, 34, was detained by Nicaraguan authorities in November 2010 and found guilty by a trial judge nine months later along with 10 co-defendants, all of them Nicaraguan nationals.

Those co-defendants testified that they had never met or worked with Puracal, and the prosecution's own witnesses said he was innocent, according to his legal team.

Puracal's supporters say he came under suspicion due to his job as a real estate agent, which gave him control over large sums of money held in escrow for property transactions and drew the attention of Nicaraguan law enforcement authorities.

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