Mexican court orders release of French woman

January 23, 2013 - 4:32 PM
Mexico France Kidnapping

FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2005 file photo, French citizen Florence Cassez is shown to the press during a police reenactment for the media of her arrest, a day after her detainment, on the outskirts of Mexico City. A Mexican Supreme Court panel voted Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, to release Cassez, who was sentenced to 60 years in prison for kidnapping. Cassez was arrested in 2005 and convicted of helping her Mexican then-boyfriend run a kidnap gang. The five-justice panel voted 3-2 to order Cassez released because of procedural and rights violations during her arrest. (AP Photo, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican Supreme Court panel has voted to release Florence Cassez, a Frenchwoman who says she was unjustly sentenced to 60 years in prison for kidnapping.

Cassez has become a cause celebre in France, and irregularities in her case strained bilateral relations.

The five-justice panel voted 3-2 to order Cassez released because of procedural and rights violations during her arrest.

Cassez was arrested in 2005 and convicted of helping her Mexican then-boyfriend run a kidnap gang.

Mexican police acknowledged they staged a televised raid depicting the rescue of the hostages and detention of Cassez.

She said she had lived at the raided ranch, but said she did not know the victims were being held there.