Costa Rica kidnap gang wants dollars 20m
The release was the only break in a tense stand-off that began on Monday, when the armed band seized the hostages and made demands that included ransom of dollars 20m (pounds 12.6m) and safe passage out of the country.
Television quoted the gunmen's leader as saying in a telephone interview that the government had until mid-afternoon local time yesterday to meet their demands or they would blow up the building. 'They want an answer but we can't assure them we will have it,' a government spokesman said. President Rafael Calderon summoned a cabinet meeting to discuss the gunmen's demands. They have also said that after the first two demands are met, they will issue a list of prisoners to be freed from Costa Rican jails.
Local press reports said the gunmen were linked to Colombian cocaine barons and wanted the release of four Colombian drug traffickers captured last September as part of an international anti-drug operation.
Police said the attack was carried out by at least five heavily armed men. A court spokesman said the men, who are described as speaking with foreign accents, apparently broke into the building through the basement and seized the Supreme Court judges as they held a weekly meeting on Monday afternoon.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Emergency landing at Heathrow sparks further controversy over London airport capacity
Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
Men arrested after RAF jet is scrambled to escort Pakistan Airlines passenger plane to London Stansted Airport
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 3 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.