San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Prosecutor Intervenes On U.S. Mom’s Behalf

Chief Prosecutor Francisco Dall’Anese stepped in this week to prevent the extradition of Nicole Kater, a U.S. mother accused of international kidnapping.

Saying Kater’s rights had been violated, Dall’Anese filed a habeas corpus writ with the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) on Monday to remand Kater’s case to the Criminal Court of Puntarenas where Kater’s case was first heard.

Police arrested Kater, 28, in April, after an investigation by U.S. Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Interpol and Costa Rican law officials. Kater fled here three years ago with her daughter during a custody dispute with the child’s father, John Gehl, in Humboldt, California.

The Humboldt County Superior Court in 2005 had ordered Kater not to leave the county until a scheduled hearing on the issue could occur.

The United States issued a warrant for her arrest in December 2005, and the California court awarded Gehl custody.

Furthermore, a judge from the San José court for childhood and adolescence awarded Gehl custody this September.


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