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Court dismisses case against Venezuelan

Court dismisses case against Venezuelan


A Venezuelan who overstayed his time here had his case dismissed by the court last Monday.

According to information given in court, Isietro Torres Marcano, 36, was apprehended on January 5, around 9:25 p.m. when Coastguard personnel on sea patrol in Canouan intercepted a vessel and found three Vincentians and two Venezuelans on board.{{more}}

The foreigners were then handed over to the Immigration Department, who discovered that Torres Marcano arrived in St Vincent at the ET Joshua airport on December 1 and was given permission to remain in the State until December 22 and there was no record of Torres Marcano requesting an extension to his stay.

Torres Marcano, a labourer, was then charged after the offense was pointed out to him.

He was charged with failing to leave the state before/on the expiration of the permit without having presented himself in person to an immigration officer, contrary to Immigration Regulations section 18, sub-section 6 of chapter 114 of 2009.

Torres Marcano pleaded guilty to the charge.

In mitigation, Ronnie Marks, lawyer for the Venezuelan, disclosed that his client did not leave the country because he had to go to Canouan to assist a friend who had fallen ill and had been abandoned.

“That person has already been dealt with by the Kingstown Magistrate Court,” Marks said.

“He was remanded and discharged, and a removal order was made. That person did not enter the state legally; he came here on a boat and he fell ill and that boat left him with a promise to return and they never did.”

Given the circumstances, Marks asked that the same penalty be imposed on Torres Marcano, acknowledging that his client committed a lesser offense and that he had been thoroughly investigated after being in custody since January 5.

Marks further disclosed that Torres Marcano has two children and is currently a resident of Trinidad and Tobago, where he lives with his wife.

“His passport is in the custody of Immigration. He has a return ticket to facilitate his departure,” the attorney said.

Torres Marcano, who seemed unable to speak much English, was provided with an interpreter by the court.

“The only thing I want is to go home,” Torres Marcano said through his interpreter.

“For me to penalize him and he has his documents, opposed to one who was discharged for entering illegally would be unfair,” said chief magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias, who then discharged him.

According to Marks, the three Vincentians involved in the matter were not charged with an offence.(AS)