Opponents Tried for Common Crimes / Cubanet, Augusto Cesar San Martin

Inmates in Cuban prison (from internet)
Inmates in Cuban prison (from internet)

The preference of trying political opponents for common crimes is not new. Thus is prevented the sullying of the regime’s image while giving cover to those who assert that in Cuba there are no political prisoners.

cubanet square logoCubanet.org, Augusto Cesar San Martin, Havana, 10 July 2015 – The preference of trying the Cuban government’s political opponents for common crimes is not new.

Attorney Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo, head of the Cuban Law Association (AJC) is in jail in Valle Grande awaiting a new trial and suspended from practice for four years. The lawyer faces a new criminal charge just when his six-month sentence for contempt was ending.

Such charge was imposed on Ferrer during his defense of his wife Marienys Pavo Anate. He demanded a mistrial on her behalf because of breaches of duty by public officials.

In his lawsuit against the judges, delivered in the Civil and Administrative Courtroom of the same Court, the lawyer from the AJC charged the process against his wife with being a “colossal fraud, with a worthless, corrupt and illegal vote,” as recorded in the judgment.

As a result of such incident, the farce against him ended up revealing itself when the judge from the Criminal Division of the Plaza of the Revolution Court considered “severe” the prosecutor’s request for seven months in jail for Contempt and lowered it to six months.

Lawyer Idilio Hernandez Herrera, legal representative for Ferrer, told Cubanet that the malice is proven by the first sanction, replacing the fine with jail as corrective discipline.

“To refer to my client they used words like corruption, documented falsities highly repudiated by society…irreverent and unethical lawyer. Which is to say the judges can use inappropriate language and prejudge the verdict,” said the defense lawyer.

“They are ordinary prisoners, not political”

The real ‘crime’ of the AJC lawyer is having used the administrative and procedural resources of Cuban law in order to demand the right of association.

The process summoned before the Provincial and Supreme Courts Maria Esther Reus, head of the Ministry of Justice (MINJUS), who delegated to the director of MINJUS Associations to declare in a trial why the AJC is not legally approved.

The next criminal process that Julio Alfredo Ferrer faces aims to eliminate any political or anti-governmental position that his conduct may describe.

He is accused of Falsification of Public Documents during the purchase of his home more than 10 years ago. Even when the notary who conducted the process testified in the oral trial to Ferrer’s innocence, the prosecutor petitioned for three years’ incarceration.

His representative Hernandez Herrera is convinced that the new accusation is a plan that intends to search at all costs for a civil violation so that he will be punished for ordinary crimes [i.e. not political ones].

“After they punish him for an ordinary crime, his defense becomes more difficult in international organizations for Human Rights, the Latin-American Court of Justice and the European Commission that have to do with lawyers,” explains Hernandez.

“This has been a political operative game by State Security with other factors very well organized in order to neutralize any kind of campaign for the freedom of my client,” he adds.

What is certain is that the government will keep the lawyer Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo in jail without sullying the regime’s image and apparently will give cover to those who assert that in Cuba there are no political prisoners.

About the Author: Augusto Cesar San Martin

Translated by Mary Lou Keel