MANAGUA, Nicaragua – The lawyer for a U.S. citizen jailed for nearly two years on money-laundering and drug charges in Nicaragua says he will be freed after unanimously winning an appeal.
Attorney Fabbrith Gomez says an appeals court vacated the charges against 35-year-old Jason Puracal of Tacoma, Washington, and ordered him released immediately.
Puracal made his home in a Pacific coast beach town, wed a Nicaraguan woman and had a son. In late 2010, masked policeman raided his real estate office and took him to Nicaragua's maximum security prison. Prosecutors charged that Puracal was using his business as a front for money laundering in a region used to transport cocaine from Colombia to the United States.
Puracal's family and friends and human rights groups have maintained the charges were false.