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By Michael Ireland

7/11/07 PERU (ANS) A Peruvian man has been re-imprisoned after the Peruvian Supreme Court again nullified a court decision absolving him and issued an order for his re-arrest. He has already been found innocent three times by Peruvian courts.
According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Carlos Jorge Garay was first arrested when he was 19 and charged with terrorism. He was released on November 2, 2004 after spending twelve years in prison. Garay was absolved of all the charges after a lengthy judicial process by the National Penal Court. However, he has now been informed that his previous acquittals have been invalidated and that he must be returned to prison to await a re-trial, following a Supreme Court order.

In a media release, CSW states: “In his three years of freedom, Garay has married and now has an infant daughter. He has expressed concern that if the courts refuse to release him from prison, it may be another four years before he sees his daughter because of strict prison visitation rules.”

CSW says that Peruvian human rights charity, Peace and Hope, has issued an appeal for international action on his behalf. According to their lawyer, Dr. Lourdes Zegarra, the Peruvian Supreme Court previously re-opened the case for review in 2005. In that instance, Garay was again found to be innocent. Dr. Zegarra said “What has happened now is that ‘repented’ individuals, people who under threat were forced to declare their guilt and give names of others [in order to reduce their sentences], have been introduced. What is curious is that in this trial, a person who, in a previous trial stated that he did not know Carlos, now says that he does.”

Dr. Zegarra also said that other witnesses against Garay are testifying from behind dark glass so that is impossible for Garay or his lawyers to know who is accusing him.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s National Director, Stuart Windsor, said: “Peru has made great advances over the past few years in re-establishing democracy and examining the human rights abuses of the past 20 years, through initiatives like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This makes it all the more disturbing to learn of cases like this one, where the rights of a man, who has already been found innocent on three occasions, continue to be violated as the Supreme Court re-opens the case yet again. We call on the Peruvian government to release Carlos Garay and reunite him with his family. We urge the authorities not to force him to undergo yet another trial for crimes of which the Peruvian court system has already found him to be innocent and to ensure that others like him are not subjected to this same ordeal.”