Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

Canadian government sits on their hands while Vancouver cops’ Cuban nightmare continues

with 4 comments

The two Vancouver area cops, Jordan Long and Mark Simms, are still languishing in Cuba, unable to leave the island, Communist country despite being acquitted unanimously by a five woman judicial panel a month ago. They have been informed the prosecution service want to appeal the acquittal. They have not been informed on what grounds the appeal is being sought. Indeed, it seems the prosecution just wants to regurgitate the same arguments it made at trial which were ruled against by the judicial panel.

They have also not been told when the appeal might occur. So, they languish, waiting for something, anything, to occur. 

One of the problems with all of this is that none of the evidence supports the allegations of the accuser and all of the evidence led at the trial, save and except the statement of the accuser, supports the statement of the two officers. 

The accuser claims she was dragged more than 500 metres from the poolside bar at the resort Sol Sirenas Coral, a four star resort in Varadero, Cuba. Her statement, introduced as the only evidence at trial against the two men, says she was dragged all that way to the lobby, through the lobby, past a bar, coffee shop, front desk, all those tourists and staff, up three flights of stairs and held down and raped in the officers’ room. And somehow, magically, nobody noticed. 

The statement also said that after she fled the room she ran downstairs, stumbling drunk, upset and crying through the lobby and across to the other side of the resort where she was staying with a friend. Again, magically, no one noticed. 

I should also note that she was invited to attend the trial and give direct evidence but declined. 

That couldn’t happen in Canadian law but it can in Cuban law. 

The lawyer representing the two officers requested the resort or the police provide the CCTV video of the day in question and essentially were ignored. The prosecution never led any video evidence that surely would have told the tale as to who was telling the truth. 

A resort security guard did testify at the trial saying that he reviewed what was available and that he watched her walk through the lobby, looking normal, not upset and certainly not running. He also testified that she did not appear drunk. He further testified that he dealt with her personally after the complaint was made and she was completely in control and not exhibiting any evidence of being drunk.

In other words there is not a scintilla of evidence supporting the statement of the accuser and lots of evidence supporting the statements of the two officers. Despite this, the Government of Canada still sits on their hands doing absolutely nothing but “monitoring” the situation. 

Meanwhile, the two cops are sitting in a lower cost, but still expensive, three star hotel because they cannot leave, paying for the cost out of their own pockets. They have been there for nine months and they are rapidly running out of money. 

They have received precious little support from the Canadian embassy there other than being allowed to make phone calls to family members. A senator and a couple of MPs have reached out expressing interest, but as far as I can see the government has done the square root of bugger all.

The families have helped out as much as they can and their pastor, the Reverend Blake Field of the Wilson Heights United Church has done everything he can, including going to Cuba twice and spending a total of 26 days there to try and help because he speaks fluent Spanish from an earlier posting in Spain. His parish’s website has been taking donations to help, but more is needed. 

And still not a word from the Government of Canada.The Prime Minister is aware. The Global Affairs Minister is aware. But still, nothing is done. I guess having a Canadian passport when travelling abroad really doesn’t mean much in Justin Trudeau’s Canada. 


Leo Knight


Written by Leo Knight

December 5, 2018 at 7:49 pm

4 Responses

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  1. The only way you get support from our current Canadian government is if you have been convicted of blowing up allied soldiers. Very well written Mr. Knight.


    December 5, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    • Leo, cynic that I am, are the Libs counting on Cuban support to get a seat on the Security Council? This entire scenario is straight out of a scene in Alice in Wonderland with the Red Queen running amok. Cuba counts on CDn tourism big time now that Trump has quashed any hopes of US $. And then there is that dreadful case of Canadian Diplomats being assaulted my mysterious sounds waves creating concussion and other serious health issues. What hidden dynamics are at work with perhaps the men being caught in the middle of a political tussle ? Thank you for keeping the plight of Mark and Jordan not only in your blog but also on the John Daley show.


      December 5, 2018 at 11:23 pm

  2. I certainly will remember this when NOT Voting for the Minister of Public Fiasco’s in my Riding [Carla Qualtrough] that also has been absolutely silent in this matter!

    Ian Whittington

    December 6, 2018 at 8:30 pm

  3. It is a sad story. Terrible if the complainant was sexually assaulted. However, if we used Canadian law there is a good chance this never would have even got to trial. Yes, the policing agency even in Canada might have reasonable and probable grounds based simply alone on the Complainant’s statement. Yes, at law in Canada you DO not need corroboration. But reliability and credibility is a live issue. Moreover, the case is R. v. W.D. sets out the the test when it is one party against other and it favors, for lack of words, the presumption that the accuseds right to life or liberty at stake and if both parties are found believeable or credible the Accuseds should be acquitted. THe missing evidence of the cctv which could prove innocense or possibly guilt is a problem for the prosecution – loss evidence favors the accused so to speak and in Canada could cause the case almost to be tossed. But the fact you have contradictory evidence from an impartial witness disclosed by the Crown (the security officer) and that there is no other evidence of the supposed roughly 500 meter dragging/fighting/pulling of the complainant or her drunkenness after the alleged sexual assault is problematic. The Crown could still believe the sexual assault happened but would probably or should probably conclude there was NO REASONABLE LIKELIHOOD OF CONVICTION – meaning they should not in Canada even proceed to trial. Charges are fine; but a trial is improper, unfair and a waste of resources. It should not have gone ahead. It could maybe explained to the accused “we believe you but because of the available evidence and or the lack of evidence CCTV in canada there is not a reasonable likelihood of conviction.

    As for their conduct as long they had no reason to believe she was underage – and in Cuba the laws may be different anyways then their should be no issues. Not enough to curtail their careers.

    Cuba has different laws but if we protect Omar Khadar why not these two Canadians?


    January 8, 2019 at 10:22 am

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