Angel Santiesteban Responds to the Havana Times / Angel Santiesteban

In my response to the statement “March 8: Everyone against violence” — a campaign to collect signatures against gender violence that exploited the supposed crime imputed to me — launched from Havana by Sandra Álvarez, Marilyn Bobes, Luisa Campuzano, Zaida Capote Cruz, Danae Diéguez, Laidi Fernández de Juan, Lirians Gordillo Piña and Helen Hernández Hormilla, I didn’t only say I was innocent.

I said much more through the means of expression that has given me the chance to be as emphatic and explicit and warranted by the events in which I’m implicated. But knowing that my words may not be enough, I sought help as well, from the forceful video that demonstrates my innocence with absolute clarity.

I did more: I interviewed the lead official investigator in the case, in the presence of witnesses. He didn’t remember me, I had to remind him of some facts, and later would remember, he was surprised that that archived file was copied, and that it had been copied behind his back.

I related the events and his reaction was complete surprise. I talked about the version of the complaint about a rape and told me that the first night she had already presented a medical certificate. He sent her with a police officer to the doctor, but the new certificate did not reflect the injuries that appeared in the first certificate that she had, and with regard to the rape, she barely insinuated it, the instructor told her to call Legal Medicine and she refused. It was then that the complainant decided to change her account.

While this first investigator was off the case to take a course through which he would become a lieutenant, another official had taken up the case against me and returned to the charge of supposed sexual violence and failed to say that the first Investigator had the Legal Medicine report and that she had retracted the accusation and changed her version.

When this official Investigator returned to his duties and read on my computer the statement that the complainant had made before the new Investigator who had taken up the case, he was furious and asked me to present it at trial as a witness for the defense.

The complainant has lied left and right about everything that didn’t suit her, and not only against me, because her statements are contradicted by what she declared to the first Investigator.

It was my lawyer who decided not to this officer as a witness for the defense, because he believed it unnecessary with witnesses and evidence presented, and analyzing the weak evidence of the prosecution, it was clear we had a considerable advantage.

As could be seen in the trial and then in the judgment and the appeal of my conviction, my verdict never relied on evidence or on a serious and legal analysis. The number of irregularities and violations and the police and legal budgets make more than obvious the Government’s revenge.

Still those who live on the island could understand, since they don’t have access to the media to inform themselves. Some do, but those never say anything against the process, always fearing the consequences, but those who live abroad, they have a way to inform themselves and seeing the brand new “witness” for the Prosecution telling the truth of all the facts: how he was bribed, pressured to testify against me, they have resounding evidence of what lies behind this process.

Do not ask about my innocence, see it with your own eyes. I communicate one thing: the witness, after being filmed and when the video was made public, was visited by the complainant and accompanied by here to the Police Station to accuse me of “threat” and lied again saying the video had been recorded under that threat, so they opened another line of “attack” because I had allegedly threatened a prosecution witness.

But thanks to the response of police experts, it was determined that the video is genuine, not edited or manipulated and that the witness is not threatened. They recommended then to the Investigator that he clarify his statements, making it clear that I was right and that the witness was manipulated in his statements against me.

I’m not saying anything you can’t see on the Internet. We have put many things there to prove my innocence. However, no one has access to the accusations of the Prosecution it would be very easy then to discover any irregularities in the process, the contradictions in the statements of the complainant and the alleged witness.

As for me, the evidence defends me. So I repeat: I urge the Government, that is the real Prosecutor in this process, to present any evidence against me other than my slanted handwriting.

Ángel Santiesteban Prats
Prison La Lima.
Guanabacoa. Havana

15 March 2013