On October 3, after months of global campaigning on his behalf, Jorge Gonzalez Nieva was allowed to continue pre-trial detention in his own home in Argentina. This improves his detention conditions considerably, but Amnesty International will continue to campaign for a final ruling on his case. Jorge expressed how solidarity letters have had an enormous positive impact on his mental health, and how grateful he feels to Amnesty and each and every person who has written to him so far.
Jorge has been illegally held in pre-trial detention for 12 years. Argentina’s law sets a temporary limit for pre-trial detention at two years. There is strong evidence that Jorge is innocent. The police officers who arrested him were later convicted of organizing a cover-up, giving false testimony and attempted extortion.
Jorge, a taxi driver, was going home after work in July 2006 when suddenly police arrested him and beat him. They accused him of robbing a bank and of killing someone in the bank. But Jorge was not involved in those crimes. The police had forced someone at the crime scene to say that Jorge had done it. There is recent evidence from the Innocence Project Foundation to prove that Jorge is innocent.
In 2010, a court sentenced Jorge to 25 years in prison. His lawyer asked Argentina’s Supreme Court to review the case because he thought the sentence was not fair. No progress in the case was made until this year.