The so-called “Peru 6” a group of young Australian tourists who are accused of murdering a hotel doorman in Lima (Jessica Vo, Hugh and Tom Hanlon, Sam Smith, Harrison Geier, and Andrew Pilat), have expressed disappointment with recent developments in their case, reports Australian newspaper The Herald Sun.
The case has gained widespread international attention; the Australians maintain that they were merely in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the family of victim Lino Rodriguez Vilchez believe that they pushed him to his death from the 15th story of the building where he worked.
In June, a Peruvian judge decided not to issue detain and arrest warrants for the group. According to the Peru 6’s Facebook page, where they regularly post updates on the case, “The [judge’s] decision was based on the fact that we did not flee the country and that we have each paid a substantial deposit to the Peruvian courts as a surety.” However, now the family of victim Lino Rodriguez Vilchez are working to appeal that decision. “[I]n a totally unexpected and extremely frustrating blow, the lawyer for the [Rodriguez] family lodged an appeal against the decision the Judge made in June, which was NOT to issue detain and arrest warrants against the us,” the group wrote on Sept. 21.
On Sept. 19, the Australians officially appealed to have their statements heard from Australia and are waiting to hear the result of their appeal. The group does not desire to travel to Peru for legal proceedings because they fear that they will be imprisoned and not given a fair trial.