Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Amilton Nicolas Bento





Life Imprisonment

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United Kingdom

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Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Amilton "Nico" Bento was wrongly convicted in December 2007 of murdering his girlfriend, Kamila Gartszkta, in December 2005 in Bedford, England. Nico Bento's conviction was based on an expert for the prosecution who testified that CCTV footage indicated that Gartszkta was walking with a bag over her shoulder on the night of her murder, even though the bag could not be seen clearly. The bag was found in Bento's apartment. The prosecution argued Bento killed Gartszkta by throwing her off a bridge into the river below and returned to his apartment with her bag. Bento was sentenced to life in prison. Bento's appeal lawyers applied to the Court of Appeal to stage a reconstruction using the same cameras and under the same conditions as the original recording. The reconstruction took place in December 2008 with the cooperation of the CPS and police. There was no consensus among the experts about whether the recordings showed if Gartszkta was or was not carrying a bag. Bento's conviction was quashed in February 2009 by England's Court of Appeal based on the ambiguity about whether it was her bag in the CCTV footage. To determine if it should pursue a retrial the prosecution sought another expert's opinion. That report was released in June 2009, and it concluded it was not a bag in the video. Based on that evidence the Crown Prosecution Service announced on July 7, 2009 that it would not retry Bento because of the lack of evidence. There was also significant evidence that Gartszkta had committed suicide."

Conviction Caused By:

Erroneous expert testimony that it was the victim's bag shown in a CCTV video.

Innocence Proved By:

"Bento's conviction was quashed in February 2009 by England's Court of Appeal. On July 7, 2009 the Crown Prosecution Service announced it would not retry Bento because of the lack of evidence."

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Was Perpetrator Identified?

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Information Source 1:

"Kamila trial - Man will not face re-trial, Bedford Today, July 10, 2009"

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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org

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