Kcho in the Hands of Raul Castro / Juan Juan Almeida

Fidel Castro’s late son Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart (left, blue shirt) and the artist known as Kcho, next to him.

Juan Juan Almeida, 23 February 2018 — The well-known plastic artist Alexis Leyva Machado, known as Kcho, an emblematic figure of official cultural, was transferred from the house where he was receiving treatment to fight a severe drug addiction to a holding center to legally prosecute him for being involved in various criminal actions.

With the investigation phase recently concluded, the prosecutor appointed in the case is awaiting the decision of president Raul Castro to order the dismissal or the continuation of the process, in order to present the defendant before the courts, according to Martí Noticias.

“For years they sold us Kcho as an exemplary citizen and deputy to the National Assembly of People’s Power — to which he was elected twice — even when several accusations against him described the opposite. The difference is that now he lost his status as a deputy, and with that his parliamentary prerogative,” a source close to the process explained to Martí News.

Holding of a parliamentary status with prerogative is applied in Criminal Law and complicates the legal submission of certain persons to specific courts. However, the artist has not been included in the list of 605 candidates for the National Assembly, whose upcoming term will begin on April 19.

For not having paid his debt to the Ministry of Communications, protected and using for personal benefit his status as a parliamentarian and his recognized friendship with the late Fidel Castro, Kcho appears implicated in accusations such as delinquency, punishable insolvency, breach of payment, abuse of authority and influence peddling.

According to sources who spoke with Martí Noticias, the Prosecutor’s Office has dropped the charge of the drug trafficking because it does not have evidence of sale, although he does distribute and illegally possess this type of substances that are highly dangerous and harmful to health.

During the investigation process messages were found that came from Leyva Machado’s cell phones, in which young people — some of them minors — are explicitly induced to practice prostitution in exchange for money.

“In that case, he can be charged with the crimes of sexual outrage, procuring and corruption of minors,” said a judicial source consulted.

However, the case could be dismissed.

The dismissal would be a type of judicial resolution that is dictated by a judge or a court — never the President of the Councils of State and of Ministers — suspending a criminal proceeding because the result could be unwanted implications, the investigation shows absence of crimes, or it is considered that a case does not justify the judicial action.

“If they are allowed to apply the law,” concludes the lawyer interviewed, “in the best of cases, due to his drug addiction, the law could consider him to be in the State of Dangerousness, included in the Penal Code to sanction antisocial behavior of those who usually break the rules of social coexistence through acts of violence or other acts of provocation.”

“But in this case, the top leadership of the country has decided to turn the legal authorities into a private law firm,” the source added.

At the end of last year, Kcho, 47, was admitted to the Mental Health Center (CENSAM) after facing serious problems of drug addiction.

The artist’s fate has been the subject of unofficial comments and versions over the past few weeks, linking him to acts of domestic violence, and failing to play millions to the state communications monopoly, ETECSA.