Norwegian girls testify in Cochabamba cocaine trial / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian girls testify in Cochabamba cocaine trial. Pregnancy, denial, and deal-making. The trial of the two remaining women charged with trying to smuggle cocaine out of Bolivia last year recommenced today, four months after the indefinite adjournment.Acquittal refused Stine Brendemo Hagen (19) and Madeleine Rodriguez (23) were transported to the courthouse yesterday.

cochabamba, cocaine, bolivia, norway, norwegian, foreign, office, arrested, airport, christine, oeygarden, stina, brendemo, hagen, madeleine, rodriguez



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Norwegian girls testify in Cochabamba cocaine trial

Published on Friday, 9th April, 2010 at 00:14 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 9th April 2010 at 20:35.

Pregnancy, denial, and deal-making.

San Sebastian Women's Prison, Cochabamba
San Sebastian Women's Prison, Cochabamba
Photo: rabble/Flickr


The trial of the two remaining women charged with trying to smuggle cocaine out of Bolivia last year recommenced today, four months after the indefinite adjournment.

Acquittal refused

Stine Brendemo Hagen (19) and Madeleine Rodriguez (23) were transported to the courthouse yesterday.

NRK reports efforts by Moises Kestelbaum Gamarra, Rodriguez’s defence counsel, to postpone the trial further, failed.

Gamarra said he believes his client should be acquitted because she wasn’t offered an interpreter at the time of her arrest, which contravenes Bolivia’s Constitution.

But the Prosecution claimed one of the accused speaks Spanish, and both women were offered help from the Norwegian Consulate General in La Paz. JudgeJean Luis Ledezma refused Gamarra’s request, and ordered the trial be reconvened today.

Claims of ignorance

During her testimony today, Madeleine Rodriguez denied any knowledge of carrying cocaine in her luggage, and declared she was not guilty.

“I didn’t know there were drugs in the bags. They were sealed in plastic and looked brand new when I got them,” she said.

She went on to say the three of them – including Christina Øygarden, who escaped to Norway in February on an emergency passport – were on holiday in Bolivia at the time of their arrest.

Apology

Meanwhile, Stine Brendemo Hagen revealed at the end of last month that she’d become pregnant during her incarceration in prison, but has refused to name the father.

She told Dagbladet at the time she didn’t want her baby to grow up in jail, but felt unable to be parted from it.

According to VG, Hagen burst into tears 30 minutes into today’s testimony.

“I’m guilty of accepting the bags without knowing what was in them and apologise. I can’t manage anymore,” Hagen said in the witness box.

If convicted, both women risk serving a jail term of up to 25 years. However, State attorney Claudia Mancilla Ballesteros has offered them to reduce their sentences to the minimum of 10 years if they help clear the case up.




Published on Friday, 9th April, 2010 at 00:14 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 9th April 2010 at 20:35.

This post has the following tags: cochabamba, cocaine, bolivia, norway, norwegian, foreign, office, arrested, airport, christine, oeygarden, stina, brendemo, hagen, madeleine, rodriguez.





  
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