Juana Rivas he insists that no Spanish court has allowed him to prove in the last two and a half years that he fled Italy with his children because, allegedly, he was mistreated by his ex-partner Francesco Arcuri. And he has tried on numerous occasions, alleges his lawyer in the appeal to the sentence that condemns to five years in prison and six years of loss of parental rights of the two minors for their abduction. The reasons that Rivas has received court after court not to enter into these alleged ill-treatment are two: "Avoid unwarranted delays in the process" or that this alleged crime "has nothing to do with the purpose of this case [la sustracción]"
The origin of the judicial conflict dates back to two and a half years ago. Juana Rivas lived with her ex-wife and two children in a village in Cagliari (Italy) from 2013 to May 2016, when she traveled with the children to Maracena (Granada). Once in Spain, Rivas alleged that she was a victim of gender violence and denounced Arcuri. In addition, he did not give the children to his father until August 2017, after having disappeared with them for a month. Arcuri filed a complaint that month against Rivas for abducting his two children.
José Estanislao López, lawyer of Rivas, maintains that these alleged ill-treatment have never been analyzed in any Spanish court and, nevertheless, the judgment deduces that "nothing had happened". That is one of several examples that Lopez considers errors of the judge in the interpretation of the evidence. López insists that these mistreatments are what justify all the subsequent action of Juana Rivas. The crime for which he was accused, the abduction, requires that there be no just cause. "There is, but they have not let us try it," Lopez says along the 32 pages of appeal, as well as the judge has believed Arcuri, who declared in the trial things that "far from being true are revealed as outrageous faults to the truth. "
The lawyer of Rivas uses his letter to announce that, in the absence of attention from Italy to that complaint – he presented it in Spain, but after various judicial vicissitudes was transferred to Italy -, has requested a Violence Court on women to assume the investigation of that case, and takes advantage of the resource, in addition, to request new tests. It alleges that they were not available at the time of the trial because they refer to documents and evidence made in the litigation that, in parallel, was maintained in Italy by the guard and custody of the minors.
The appeal of Juana Rivas to her sentence maintains in all its pages that she is innocent and therefore requests her acquittal. However, in the end, leave the door open to be condemned. In that case, he argues, he should not be condemned for two crimes of child abduction, but only for one, even if there are two children in it. That, he says, should condemn it to the minimum for the crime. The penalty in that case would be two years and maybe I would not have to go to prison.
The lawyer transcribes episodes that have been reported in the trial, such as the testimony of the municipal social services of Carloforte, the town where they lived, which explained in the Italian court that Juana Rivas came to them during his stay in Italy to try to rebuild the nucleus family. The letter states that the teachers of the older child admitted to being worried about the signs sent by the child. From their drawings, they explained, they feared that something would happen in the house and proposed to send an educator to their home. According to a report by the Rivas psychologists, the mother was favorable, but not Arcuri. These psychologists, says Rivas' lawyer, feared that something would happen in a place as isolated as his home, in Carloforte, "a community in which complaints about family conflicts are not easily presented."
Finally, Rivas' lawyer admits that the woman could make mistakes in her actions, but she lets all the blame fall into the deficiency of previous legal advice and that Rivas always acted on the request of the lawyers at all times.
Arcuri's lawyer, Enrique Zambrano, considers that Rivas' appeal "does not say anything that he has not repeated over and over again, always referring to the statements he makes, not the arguments that sustain those claims, which are so changeable, according to the day or the place where he performs them, as legally weak ".