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Dec 9, 1998

Warrant issued for re-arrest of kidnapping suspects

It was more than just a disappointment to the Cardona family and the police of San Pedro that three Hondurans arrested for kidnapping had walked free when their police file could not be presented at court at the end of November. But today, prompted perhaps by a visit to San Pedro police, the Minister of National Security and Immigration Jorge Espat announced that warrants have been issued for the re-arrest of Rogel Rivera, Wilmer Ortiz and Alba Cruz. His office also reported the file was not missing but had been returned late from the Director of Public Prosecutions office and that certain material points could not be concluded in time for the November thirtieth trial date. Apparently there is no legal reason why the three cannot be brought before the court a second time since the case was struck out due to the absence of the file and not because there was an adjudication on the merits of the case. The three Hondurans are the alleged perpetrators of a kidnapping and ransom attempt on March eighteenth. The Manager of the San Pedro Branch of the Atlantic Bank Gilardo Cardona told News Five when he entered his home he found his wife and maid bound and gagged and two men demanded money. Cardona outwitted the kidnappers, however, by convincing one of them to take him back to the bank where he made a phone call to the police. The San Pedro police then grabbed the suspect. Cardona then convinced the kidnapper at his house that his partner was waiting with the cash downstairs and when the man went down, he too was arrested. The maid appeared to have been a collaborator in the case and she was also arrested. If police can locate the trio which has already had more than a week to flee, they will stand trial for the crime.


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