The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday August 19th

Words from Paul Frampton in Argentina

Five months in Devoto prison are not the best for either mental or physical health. I have had about ten colds in this time, probably because the air contains cigarette smoke and various viruses. I am a little better.

My mental health is better because I can now read new physics archive papers from CDs. One of my students, Kevin Ludwick, downloads selected papers on to a web page and they are burned on a CD by my friend from Oxford, Richard Czerniawski in Buenos Aires, and brought into the prison.

This is the best we can do without use of the Internet — forbidden in the prison — and is keeping me updated. I already published five refereed journal articles in 2012.

Another scam victim was released last week after only three months. The main difference seems to have been a different judge, but it should help my case. The judicial system is old, and perhaps not all of the judges even use the internet, which is how my scam was done. My release was denied in April, to the surprise of my lawyer and the universities who had offered me visiting professorships. An appeal was denied on May 31.

I have now entered the trial period with a new attorney at — to whom new character references should be sent — to add to the about 150 already here from physicists and friends around the world.

There is also a unified attempt to achieve government intervention, involving the ministers of science and of justice, as well as the president of Argentina. It does seem unfair that an innocent scam victim is treated as a professional drug smuggler and left to languish already five months in Devoto. I believe that five physics Nobel Prize winners and two university presidents, including Holden Thorp, have already written the minister of science. I hope to get out next week, but nothing in this justice system is ever certain, including liberty.

Thank you, Mark and Hugon, and all the other colleagues and students and former students for collecting the defense fund in physics, astronomy and mathematics, via my ex-wife.

Paul Frampton
Professor, Physics

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