The Federal Supreme Court (STF) decided this Thursday (30) to dismiss the extradition request of a Colombian man who fled to Brazil after being sentenced to 27 years for the crimes of rape and murder.
By majority vote, the plenary of the Court decided to annul the judgment of the case by the Second Panel of the Court on the understanding that extradition could not be denied by the collegiate based on a tie recorded in the vote.
The case involves Colombian Jaime Enrique Saade Cormane, convicted in Colombia on charges of raping and murdering 18-year-old Nancy Mestre. The crime occurred in 1993 during New Year’s Eve.
According to information in the process, Jaime and Nancy were dating and went out to celebrate the New Year. According to investigations, the accused assaulted the young woman and raped her. Days later, she succumbed to her injuries and died in a clinic.
The sentence to 27 years in prison came out in 1996, but Jaime was already on the run, being found only in 2020 in Brazil, when he was finally arrested in Belo Horizonte. He lived under the false name of Henrique dos Santos Abdala.
The legal discussion of the case dealt with the outcome of the trial of the extradition request made by the Colombian government, which ended in a tie and favored the convicted person.
In a virtual session held in September 2020, the Second Panel of the Court registered a tie of 2 votes to 2 in the extradition request. The case should have been tied by former minister Celso de Mello, but the magistrate did not vote because he was on medical leave. With the decision, Jaime was released by decision of the Supreme Court.
In this Thursday’s decision, the process returns to the collegiate so that Minister André Mendonça, Celso de Mello’s successor, can vote on the issue.
Yesterday (29), on the first day of the trial, lawyer Bruno Barreto Teixeira disagreed with the panel’s deliberation and argued that Jaime could not have benefited from the tie, a rule that, according to him, is not foreseen in the Court’s internal regulations for application in extraditions.
For the defender, the understanding encourages foreign criminals to flee to Brazil. The lawyer acted on behalf of Martín Eduardo Mestre, 81 years old, the victim’s father. “For Mr. Martín, this is the last chance to do justice,” he said.
On behalf of Jaime Cormane, the lawyer Fernando Gomes de Oliveira spoke. The defender rejected the assertions about favoring foreigners and stated that the tie favored his client because the crimes expired and he was illegally imprisoned.
“The logic of applying the tie in the extradition judgment is because that action is discussing freedom. We are talking about the presumption of innocence,” he concluded.