Appeals court releases Latvian cyclist

A Lithuanian appeals court on Thursday released Latvian Olympic cyclist Juris Silovson on bail pending further hearings into charges that he tried to smuggle nearly 80,000 undeclared Euros across the border. Silovs had been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail for failing to declare cash he carried across the border. "You have to be there. You have to see the food there. Pigs get better feed," Silovs was quoted as saying by the Baltic News Service of the maximum-security prison where he was held. Silovs had been found guilty for failing to declare 76,750 euros (75,660 dollars) hidden

By VeloNews Interactive wire services , Copyright AFP2002

A Lithuanian appeals court on Thursday released Latvian Olympic cyclist Juris Silovson on bail pending further hearings into charges that he tried to smuggle nearly 80,000 undeclared Euros across the border.

Silovs had been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail for failing to declare cash he carried across the border.

“You have to be there. You have to see the food there. Pigs get better feed,” Silovs was quoted as saying by the Baltic News Service of the maximum-security prison where he was held.

Silovs had been found guilty for failing to declare 76,750 euros (75,660 dollars) hidden in his car that he was paid by French team Cofidis when he entered Lithuania in October 2001.

The severe sentence caused an outrage in Latvia as the cyclist has suffered communication difficulties since falling into a coma from a 1999 mugging incident in which he suffered a serious head injury.

There have been allegations Lithuanian customs officials had sought to prosecute him only after he refused to pay them a bribe.Copyright AFP2002