(posted Sept. 14, 3:10 p.m.)- After two years behind bars doing time for a wrongful conviction, U.S. citizen Jason Puracal is out of jail and out of Nicaragua.
The international crisis agency handling public relations for Jason Puracal reports that Jason has left Nicaragua is now in a safe and undisclosed location.
“Jason is free and out of Nicaragua. He is in a safe and undisclosed location,” reads a short statement released by the David House Agency at 2:30 p.m.
Asked if Puracal left the country legally or illegally, the agency said it couldn’t share the details of Puracal’s departure.
Puracal, who on Thursday was absolved of all crimes by the Granada Appeals Court, was released from jail last night but prohibited from leaving the country.
“Despite the fact that Jason was released from prison this afternoon, authorities did not allow him to leave Nicaraguan territory,” according to a brief statement last night by David House Agency. “He is currently in a safe and undisclosed location and we are unable to predict when he will leave Nicaragua. He is in frequent contact with his family.”
The Nicaragua Dispatch has tried repeatedly today to get in touch with Puracal’s Nicaraguan defense lawyer Fabbrith Gómez, but his cell phone has been turned off all day.
Appellate judge Roberto Rodríguez, who ordered Puracal’s release, says he does not know if Puracal was prevented from leaving the country today, which is a holiday in Nicaragua. Rodríguez says Puracal could have been deported by President Daniel Ortega (similar to what happened with U.S. citizen Eric Volz) due to his irregular migratory status.
Though Puracal had permanent residency in Nicaragua, his visas might have been expired, says Rodríguez.
“They were saying he was in the country illegally, which is absurd because he was in jail for two years,” Rodríguez told The Nicaragua Dispatch.
On Thursday afternoon, state prosecutors said they were going to request a full copy of the Appellate Court’s ruling to determine what steps to take next after the three-day weekend for Independence Day. But after two years in jail, Puracal won’t be waiting around for that decision.