NEWS

Hurtado Walks Free

A foreigner who was charged with one count of importing 20.5kg of cocaine into the country could not express his excitement when he walked out of court a free man
18 Nov 2015 11:44
Hurtado Walks Free
Lawyer Samanunu Vaniqi and her client Aiden Alec Hurtado waves goodbye after being acquitted by the Suva High Court yesterday.

A foreigner who was charged with one count of importing 20.5kg of cocaine into the country could not express his excitement when he walked out of court a free man yesterday.
Colombian-born American citizen, Aden Alec Hurtado, 25, appeared before High Court judge, Justice Salesi Temo.
Justice Temo found Hurtado not guilty and acquitted him of the charge.
Three of the assessors had earlier found Hurtado guilty to the charge while the fourth assessor gave a not-guilty opinion.
Justice Temo said he disagreed with the majority opinion of the assessors and agree with the minority opinion.
While delivering his judgement yesterday, Justice Temo said there was no evidence by Prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Hurtado’s baggage, in transit from Brazil, Chile, New Zealand and Australia, was ‘foolproof’, that it could not have been interfered with.
“The Prosecution still had to prove knowledge on the part of the accused when he checked his baggage in at Brazil. Given that the physical element of the offence had been satisfied by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt, it is easy to assume, given the surrounding circumstances, that he knew he had illicit drugs in his baggage when he checked in at Brazil,” Justice Temo said.
Hurtado has been remanded again since his visa had expired.

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