FRANCO DA ROCHA NEWS, 24 DE NOVEMBRO DE 2015 - 14H28 HORARIO DE BRASILIA
Indian top court rejects French plea for release of national
Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:47PM
French national Marie-Emmanuelle Verhoeven
The Supreme Court of India has turned down a request by France to free from prison a Frenchwoman wanted in Chile over accusations of killing of a key supporter of General Pinochet"s military regime.
On Tuesday, a senior judge at the Supreme Court of India dismissed the plea by the French embassy in New Delhi to release the woman.
"The Frenchwoman is accused of terror activity, murder and being a part of a subversive group that killed a senator," media outlets quoted Justice T.S. Thakur as saying. "What can the French government do if she flees despite the guarantee? We will not make any interim arrangement."
The French embassy had earlier asked the court that it would ensure that Marie-Emmanuelle Verhoeven, 56, remain in India if it freed her into its custody pending an extradition hearing. However, the court has questioned the embassy"s ability to uphold such a guarantee.
On February 16, the French national was detained by security forces in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on the Indian border, where she was entering the country from Nepal.
Verhoeven, a native of Nantes in western France, has since been in custody in Delhi"s notorious Tihar prison.
Indian law enforcement agencies say the French national was arrested on the basis of an Interpol notice for her detention issued upon a request by the Chilean government. However, French sources say Interpol has already cancelled the notice of her arrest warrant.
Verhoeven had been arrested in the German city of Hamburg in early 2014 and detained for four months. However, the German judiciary later rejected Chile"s request to extradite her.
Defense lawyers for Verhoeven have argued that her detention was illegal and she should be released immediately from the Delhi jail.
The French woman has dismissed charges against her, saying she is the victim of a "political vendetta" against her.
The Chilean government is seeking the extradition of the French woman for her alleged role in a conspiracy to kill Senator Jaime Guzman Errazuriz on April 1 1991. She had lived in Chile from 1985 to 1995 and worked to promote human rights there.
More than 3,200 people were killed and about 38,000 others were imprisoned and tortured on political grounds under the Pinochet regime. Pinochet died in 2006, aged 91, without ever having gone on trial for the atrocities he had committed during his 17-year rule.
The CIA spy agency played a key role in the events leading up to the September 11, 1973 military coup in Chile and later helped the junta establish one of the 20th-century"s worst dictatorships in Latin America.
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