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Editor’s Trial Swift, But Was it Just?

Posted May 7, 2007 11:18 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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San Diego magazine editor Eric Volz, convicted of murder by a Nicaraguan court after a three-day trial, is pinning his hopes on an appeal.

The judge allowed one alibi witness and only two other defense witnesses to testify, even though 10 witnesses had supported the alibi. He also refused to admit phone and e-mail records to show Volz was in Managua, a two-and-a-half hour drive from the scene where his ex-girlfriend was raped and killed, according to the Washington Post.

Court documents and interviews with witnesses and lawyers “suggest the verdict was heavily influenced by small-town passions and a desire for swift justice,” according to the newspaper. The court system in Nicaragua is highly politicized, and the lack of judicial independence has wide-ranging effects, critics told the paper.

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