Some Mexico Gaddafi Plot Charges Dropped
Some of the charges against two men accused of attempting to sneak members of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi's family into Mexico have been dismissed, according to the family of Cynthia Vanier, a Canadian also arrested in the alleged smuggling plot.
Vanier's Toronto lawyer, Paul Copeland, sent an email to CBC News late Tuesday saying that a judge has decided that there is not enough evidence to proceed on charges of participation in organized crime and making false documents against Pierre Christian Flensborg of Denmark and Jose Luis Kennedy Prieto, a Mexican.
Copeland said in his email that the update came from Vanier's family, who have been monitoring the prison hearings in southern Mexico.
The family added a charge of conspiracy of human trafficking is still possible against the men in what Mexican authorities have described as a failed scheme to use false passports to smuggle Gadhafi's 38-year-old son, Saadi Gadhafi, along with other relatives, into Mexico.
However, CBC News has not been able to officially confirm the information from the lawyer with Mexican prosecutors.
Vanier was arrested Nov. 10 in Mexico — nearly three weeks after deposed Libyan leader Gadhafi was killed following his capture in his hometown of Sirte. A day after Vanier's arrest, three other alleged co-conspirators were also detained.
The other accused is Gabriela Davila Huerta, a Mexican living in the United States.
Vanier accused ringleader
A different judge considering the case against Vanier is expected to issue a ruling on Wednesday as to whether the Canadian should face charges of organized crime and of co-ordination and plotting human trafficking.
The Montreal-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin has said that it hired Vanier to travel to Libya in July on a "fact-finding mission."
The Ontario native has since been accused by Mexican authorities of being the ringleader behind the alleged Gadhafi smuggling scheme.
Vanier's family is hopeful that the fact investigators with Mexico's SEIDO — the division of the attorney general's office dealing with organized crime — interviewed her an additional time could be a good sign.
Conviction on a charge of organized crime could carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.