News from Lori's Parents

13 May 2004

In this update:

Human rights court in Costa Rica hears Lori's case

In a marathon session that lasted seven hours, Lori's case was heard by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on Friday, May 7.

The session began with Rhoda called to the witness stand and providing 30 minutes of testimony on Lori's health, prison conditions, and case. Following questions from the other parties and the seven Court judges, the former Peruvian Justice Minister gave 30 minutes of testimony regarding Perú's attempts to alter its judiciary system following the downfall of the autocratic administration of Fujimori and Montesinos. A recess followed questions from the other parties and the seven Court judges. When the hearing reconvened, the legal team from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights gave their final arguments. These were followed by the final arguments from Lori's three lawyers and those of Perú's legal representatives. Each of these presentations were for 40 minutes. A rebuttal period then followed with each party being permitted 10 minutes. The session concluded with the judges asking questions of the parties.

We were very pleased with the Inter-American Commission's efforts to defend its prior decision supporting Lori. We were also pleased with the work of our legal team in defending Lori. The dynamic Peruvian legal team, however, concentrated on attempts to change Perú's legal and justice system - all of which have occurred after Lori's civilian trial was completed.

All parties have until June 7 to submit final documents to the Court. After that, the decision will be in the hands of the seven judges and will likely be announced by the Court later this year.

48 human rights advocates endorse Amicus Curiae ("Friend of the Court") Brief in support of Lori's case

An Amicus Curiae endorsed by 48 human rights organizations and advocates throughout the western hemisphere in support of Lori's case was submitted to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The Amicus Curiae was developed by Dr. Gil Barragan, a prominent judicial authority in Ecuador, whose son Juan Pablo developed the Website in Spanish.

Please read the Amicus Curiae, and the list of endorsements. The brief is also available in Spanish. Among the signors are two Nobel Peace Prize recipients and several well-known human rights advocates in the western hemisphere.

We are indebted to Dr. Gil Barragan for developing this important document and to Juan Pablo for his support over these eight years.

"Free Lori" website has a new look

The Webmaster of the Website reports that he has modernized the site and given it a new appearance. Please visit and let him know what you think.

Final comments from Rhoda and Mark

These past weeks have been extremely stressful as we helped our legal team prepare for the Costa Rica hearings. We are particularly grateful to Ramsey Clark, unfortunately recuperating all too slowly these past few months from complications suffered after an automobile accident, and to Tom Nooter, who, despite a throat and ear infection, managed to put in several "30-hour" days working on Lori's case before and in Costa Rica. Thanks also to Lori's Peruvian lawyer, Dr. Jose Luis Sandoval Quesada, for all his hard work. And, of course, we want to thank all of you for your continued good wishes.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson