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Raul Garcia is free

Barry Alleyne

Raul Garcia is free

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Raul Garcia is a free man.
The Cuban refugee broke down in tears within seconds of earning his freedom today when the No 9 Supreme Court released him into the custody of a Barbadian family.
It was at 3.25 p.m, just 25 minutes after meeting with Justice Margaret Reifer, that Garcia walked out of the court, where he was greeted by a number of supporters and well-wishers.
Garcia also hugged the couple who will take him in from tonight, before speaking with his lawyers David Comissiong, Paula Jemmont, Ajamu Boardi and Safiye Moore.
Garcia later waltzed down the Supreme Court steps along White Park Road, St Michael, raising his hands in triumph.
The 59-year-old broke down in tears numerous times while speaking to reporters outside the courthouse.
“I want to thank all the Barbadians who have supported me,” an emotional Garcia told reporters.
Garcia was released from Her Majesty’s Prison at Dodds in March 2010, but had been in custody of the country’s Immigration Department at a detention centre in Dalkieth, St Michael while awaiting a possible deportation.
High Court judge Justice Margaret Reifer ruled on February 20 that the order’s shelf life had been exhausted and he should be released.
Garcia had served a 20-year jail sentence for drug trafficking and became an award-winning artist whilst incarcerated. (BA)
Full reports will be published in tomorrow’s WEEKEND NATION