CARACAS, Friday October 22, 2004 | Update
The court rule not only absolves Carrera Almoina, but also favors Gustavo Carrera Damas, the defendant's father, and his secretary Leida Josefina Reina Torres - accused of obstructing justice and concealment (Photo: Jorge Santos)
ALEJANDRA M. HERNANDEZ F.
After three and a half years waiting for a sentence, the legal action filed by Linda Loiza López Soto against Luis Antonio Carrera Almoina ended in a total absolution for the defendant and, paradoxically, in an investigation against the victim, ordered by the surrogate judge Rosa Cádiz for her alleged involvement in a prostitution network.
The court rule not only gives full freedom to Carrera Almoina, who faced charges of rape, torture, kidnapping and attempted murder, but also favors Gustavo Carrera Damas, the defendant's father, and his secretary Leida Josefina Reina Torres - accused of obstructing justice and concealment.
López was found in an apartment owned by Almoina on Aug. 19, 2001. López said she was held there against her will for four months. She presented multiple internal injuries, in addition to the bruises, cuts and burns all over her body. She was repeatedly raped and beaten by her aggressor.
"The decision made by the judge to absolve all the defendants is completely absurd," Linda Loiza said. "The decision was made ignoring the whole evidence. Each of the crimes was totally proved. I never thought that a judge, having so many valuable proves and after hearing so many testimonies of experts and witnesses and after reading the reports by the police could sentence a total absolution for all the defendants," she added.
However, not everything is completely lost for Linda Loiza López in her eagerness for justice. She ensured that she would appeal the sentence since there is enough evidence that, in her opinion, proves that Carreira Almoina is guilty.
López said that the sentence proves that "here in Venezuela women's rights are completely vulnerable and that nobody takes into consideration the suffering that a woman may face."
The ruling not only surprised Loiza and her family, it also surprised César Mirabal, 19 national judge of the Public Prosecutor's Office, who denounced irregularities in the process, including the illegal incorporation of evidence during the debate.
Carreira Almoina said that "finally justice has been made" even though with delay. "I trusted in the Venezuelan justice."
Now, Linda Loiza and her family have to focus their energy on preparing an effective defense, since Carrera Almoina claimed it is his turn to accuse. Linda could face charges of slander and perjury.
Translated by Teresa León
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.