Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

Canadian cops trapped in Cuba facing kangaroo court

with 11 comments

Over the course of the past month, I have told you the story of the two Vancouver area police officers being held in Cuba on fabricated allegations of rape made by a fellow Canadian tourist.  

The accuser, a then 17-yr-old female approached the two in a poolside bar around 4:30 in the afternoon. She told them in no uncertain terms she wanted to have sex with one or both of them. They were in an adult bar in a resort mostly frequented by Canadians and she had been there being served by resort staff. They had no reason to believe she was underage and she certainly didn’t look it. 

While she was not encouraged to go back to their room, she wasn’t discouraged either. They left the bar and she followed and she was allowed into their room. One of the two, who was single, engaged in consensual sex with her while the other stayed out on their balcony. Before leaving, she tried to convince the other to play and she was rebuffed. Well, hell hath no fury as a wise man once said. 

She left and the two laid down for a pre-dinner nap. They were awakened a half-hour later by hotel security and their nightmare began. Seven months later it’s still going on. 

She claimed in her statement to police that she was dragged physically over 500 metres from the poolside bar to the resort, through a crowded lobby, past a bar, restaurant and up three flights of stairs to a room where she was raped by one of the cops while being held down. Somehow, no one in the busy resort noticed.

That was then. Despite the original statement given to the Cuban police, the prosecution is now trying to say that she was drunk and the two men took advantage of her by somehow directing her back to their room instead of dragging her as she originally claimed in her statement. Convenient isn’t it?

The reality is that the case, as a whole, is a moving target. Cuban justice, such as it is, bears no resemblance to anything we might recognize as justice. The two cops have no ability to face their accuser. In fact, they will not even be afforded the opportunity to challenge the claims made by way of cross-examination. 

The accuser won’t be attending any sort of trial. The only evidence against them is the original statement given by the accuser to the Cuban police officer investigating the claim. 

Under Cuban law, if an accuser cannot attend a trial, a statement is to be given in the presence of a prosecuting lawyer and a defence lawyer so that questions may be asked by both sides. 

That didn’t happen in this case. 

The two officers have been advised there will be a trial the last week in October in the town of Matanzas, where there is Canadian consular staff. But, no one is allowed to view the trial save and except two “guests” of the accused. 

The officers cannot even hire their own translator to ensure they are receiving accurate information of a trial being held in Spanish. The Cuban government will assign a translator, who is employed by the same government agency who employs the judges, the prosecutor and the defence counsel. That sure sounds fair.

The defence lawyers have been given a document called “conclusion provisionals” (sp?) which sounds to me like an indictment document which outlines what the prosecution says is the evidence against the two officers. 

If that is the case, the Cuban government is dropping any pretence of trying to prove the actual allegations made by the accuser about the dragging through the resort and the violent rape while being held down. It would seem they are now trying to claim the accuser was drunk and the two cops guided her back to the room where the “rape” occurred. 

Now, I should note that a blood sample was taken from the accuser to determine her BAC (blood alcohol content). The only problem is that the sample was taken two days after the alleged attack. A physical examination of the accuser showed no evidence of a sexual assault; no semen, no bruising, no vaginal tearing, nothing to indicate anything other than consensual sex had taken place. 

One wonders at what point in the proceedings a kangaroo will bound through the courtroom?

From my vantage point, although I know the Canadian government, while aware of the situation, hasn’t done anything to help these two Canadian police officers trapped in the jaws of the Cuban communist justice system. They say, officially, they are monitoring the situation, but monitoring is not going to help these two men. 

The western concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, the so-called ‘Golden Thread’ that runs through our justice system is not evident in Cuba. 

There will be five so-called judges on a panel hearing this case. Two of whom are lay persons. There is also designated a ‘president’ or head judge on the panel. All questions are routed through the president who does all the talking. 

This is a travesty. But it is not up to the Canadian government to question the Cuban system. It is up to the Canadian government to intervene and stand up for the rights of Canadians being unjustly prosecuted in a foreign land. This case would never get in front of a Canadian judge, it is so weak. Yet, in Cuba two police officers, who were just tourists from Vancouver, are staring at significant jail time on the basis of nothing but the uncorroborated, baseless allegations of what, in my opinion, is a sociopathic female.

Tourism is Cuba’s largest industry. Canada represents more than 30% of that industry with more than 1.3 million visitors every year and is by far and away the single largest contributor to that industry of any country in the world. 

Cuba would not want to jeopardize that cash cow.  The government of Canada needs to remind the Cuban government that unjust treatment of Canadian citizens is a problem. Made even more so when those citizens are police officers who serve the citizens of Canada. 

Perhaps a phone call from the Minister of Global Affairs to the Cuban Ambassador to Canada to remind him of that would be in order.

-30-

Leo Knight

@primetimecrime

 

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Written by Leo Knight

October 12, 2018 at 6:27 pm

11 Responses

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  1. We will get Trudope to call his uncle Castro and get them off!

    Seriously though cant VPD send a Spanish speaking Officer as one of the two “guests” as a safeguard?

    Has the Accuser been interviewed this end to establish anything that may be used in their defence?

    AY

    Allan Young

    October 12, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    • WHY ISN’T CANADA ON THIS? AT THE VERY LEAST IF THE GOV HASN’T STEPPED IN YET, A CANADIAN INVESTIGATION SHOULD HAVE ALREADY GOTTEN STATEMENTS FROM THE ACCUSER, HER FRIENDS AND FAMILY…

      Now Cuba’s just changing the accusor’s statement to whatever the hell they want so they can lock them up. The Canadian government needs to step in ASAP.

      Ashley

      October 12, 2018 at 7:32 pm

  2. Now the story is ‘starting’ to get legs… as the Media has woken up (at least in the lower mainland) to the plight of these Officers and the lunacy of Cuban (so-called) Justice. Nothing has as yet been pushed by Foreign Affairs… who should be ashamed of the lack of their duty to do ANY diligence in supporting Canadian Citizens.

    Not surprising the ‘under-aged’ drunken Accuser has been totally non-existent in any of this travesty! Again, where is Foreign Affairs? Where are the Police Unions in pushing this on behave of their Members or even warning others thinking of going to Cuba!

    This has been nothing short of a disgusting unjust action!

    Ian Whittington

    October 12, 2018 at 7:51 pm

  3. Don’t hold your breath for the Canadian govt to help the men. It appears this is a normal non-response from our govt.when it comes to lookng after oue own….be it Conservatives or Liberals in power. Canadian citizenship is not worth a nickel if you get into trouble in a foreign country. There is a lot of precedent for that going back years. It makes me ashamed to have such weak-kneed governments. 😬

    On Fri, Oct 12, 2018, 6:27 PM Crime & Punishment, wrote:

    > Leo Knight posted: “Over the course of the past month, I have told you the > story of the two Vancouver area police officers being held in Cuba on > fabricated allegations of rape made by a fellow Canadian tourist. The > accuser, a then 17-yr-old female approached the two in a p” >

    Shirley Heafey

    October 12, 2018 at 7:55 pm

  4. Please tell us who in Government to voice our thoughts and our outrage to

    Patricia Morson

    October 13, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    • There’s lots of good info at Canadian Cops trapped in Cuba on Facebook

      Leo Knight

      October 13, 2018 at 4:09 pm

  5. Hi Leo, thank you for bringing this injustice that these two policemen have suffered without any help from our Canadian government! Trudeau should be ashamed to hear of this and taking no action to help these two men. If nothing else, the Canadian alleged victim who lives in Canada should have been reinterviewed here in Canada to see is there is some substance to her claim!

    In my mind Trudeau should immediately have someone in the justice department talk to the Cuban government and express our alarm at how these two persons have been jailed with little or no proof this actually happened! If we Canadians can get no help from our government when we travel to other countries, then our government is woefully incompetent! Surely we can do better than just abandoning Canadian travellers who have foolishly thought they could get some assistance from their elected government when we travel to other countries, then our government is woefully incompetent! Dan Kristjanson!

    > On Oct 12, 2018, at 6:27 PM, Crime & Punishment >

    kristjanson

    October 14, 2018 at 11:14 am

  6. Thank you Mr. Knight, for your insight, and continued support for these two officers….

    I also have family & friends within the VPD blue line, as well as a family member currently studying at RMC KIngston and who’s future will involve many years to come, of service to our nation….I myself, was a VPD Reserve for 8 years, as well as a former Victim Services volunteer, and served Vancouver City as a Bylaw officer for over 20 years…..From the legal perspective, let alone the “blue family” perspective, this case is abhorrent and so frustrating….

    It makes me ill to think that if someone I knew personally, was accused of a wrongdoing, on a vacation, they would have so little support from our nation’s officials….as per this case has demonstrated….and would be prevented from returning home, under the weak guise of “investigative requirements”….

    If you wish to pass along any other email addresses for which you might feel would be worth me writing to, on this case, please feel free to email me directly…

    Regards,
    Gina Adair

    Gina Adair

    October 15, 2018 at 12:34 pm

  7. Again, where are fed’s on this matter? It seems that Baron Von Socks is directing his minions in foreign affairs to help those poor misguided ISIS members who were captured by the Kurds instead of two Canadians stuck in limbo in Cuba. This, should tell Canadians all they need to know about the priorities of Turdeau’s Gov’t.

    Anon

    October 15, 2018 at 3:29 pm

  8. Just curious how big and tall this Sims fellow is? I read previously that the girl is 5’10 and heavy set.. what does that mean? What is heavy set? Was she his size? If he dragged her and held her down wouldn’t there be physical evidence of that?

    Adam Gregory

    October 18, 2018 at 12:21 pm

  9. Hi Leo. I have been closely following your blog. Too bad the MSM have not done the detailed digging and analysis you have! Quick question, how long does the defense and the complainant have to lodge an appeal? Worst case scenario, how long do they have to wait?

    judisommer

    November 18, 2018 at 2:55 pm


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