CIUDAD DELGADO, El Salvador (Reuters) – The retrial of a Salvadoran girl convicted of aggravated murder after a stillbirth adjourned with out a verdict on Thursday, in a intently watched case that might overturn a 30-year jail sentence handed down after prosecutors stated she had induced an abortion.
Evelyn Hernandez, who was sentenced to 30 years in jail for a suspected abortion, arrives for a listening to in Ciudad Delgado, El Salvador August 15, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
El Salvador bans abortion in all circumstances.
The decide ordered a recess Thursday afternoon after a witness for the prosecution failed to seem.
“I solely want to let you know that I’m an harmless lady. I’ve at all times advised you that I’m harmless,” the defendant Evelyn Hernandez, 21, advised reporters as she entered the court docket.
As she left the courthouse she advised a small mob of reporters that she is “anticipating justice” and praying that on Friday she shall be exonerated.
Bertha de Leon, Hernandez’s lawyer, stated the prosecution has did not show that her shopper “needed to kill the new child, however as a substitute it was a sophisticated delivery.”
In February, the Supreme Court docket had ordered Hernandez launched and retried as a result of the unique decide’s determination was primarily based on prejudice and inadequate proof.
Hernandez has served three years of the three-decade sentence that was handed down. Hernandez had stated that she was unaware of her being pregnant when she delivered a stillborn son in 2016.
She once more said her innocence within the retrial, which started in mid-July however went on recess because of the sickness of a witness. Hernandez, a home employee who was learning to be a nurse, has stated she was impregnated after being raped by a gang member.
“My targets are to maintain learning, and I solely ask the prosecution to suppose issues via as a result of I’m actually harmless,” Hernandez stated in a gradual voice. “Additionally, to the decide, I do know that he’ll do justice. God prepared, all will finish nicely.”
Any intentional termination of a being pregnant in El Salvador could be prosecuted as a criminal offense, together with stillbirths resulting from dwelling supply or abortions induced due to medical emergencies.
Some 147 Salvadoran ladies had been sentenced to as much as 40 years in jail in such circumstances between 2000 and 2014, based on the Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion.
Hernandez’s retrial is the primary such case to be heard below President Nayib Bukele, who took workplace in June and has supported the appropriate to abortion when a girl’s life is in danger.
The retrial is about to renew Friday at 9 a.m. (1500 GMT).
Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon and David Alire Garcia; Enhancing by Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler