14ymedio, Havana, 3 March 2017 — This Friday, the trial against Eduardo Cardet, a doctor and the national coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL), was concluded. The prosecution has maintained its original request for three years of deprivation of liberty for the opponent, who has been detained since November 30 and charged with “attack on authority.” The trial was held in the Municipal Court of Gibara (Holguin) and the sentence will be handed down on March 20.
The arrest occurred in a violent manner outside the activist’s home in the municipality of Velasco, where he lives and works in the Family Clinic office. He is charged with an alleged attack on a State Security officer at the time of arrest.
Cardet’s wife, Yaimaris Vecino, was able to enter the courtroom this morning, but other MCL activists had to wait outside the building. Marlenys Leyva, Cardet’s mother-in-law, told 14ymedio that only nine family members were allowed in.
A neighbor told 14ymedio that “Cardet was very calm and explained very well what happened, without contradictions.” He asserts that the opponent has the truth in his hand and that the same could not be said of the accusation. “They stumbled from beginning to end trying to impose their lies,” he explains.
According to Marlenys Leyva, the access road to the Tribunal was closed from the early hours and there was a considerable number of members of the Rapid Response Brigades around the outside of the building.
Cardet, 48, was denied bail on three occasions to await trial at his home
“The people of State Security are here, like Major Juan Carlos Espinosa.” He stated that not only was there a police presence outside the building but there was also “a large group of officers inside.”
Cardet, 48, was denied bail on three occasions to await trial at his home. Set to begin on February 20, the process was postponed to Friday without explaining the reasons to either the family or the accused.
According to Vecino, the defense lawyer, Eliécer La Rosa, called four witnesses during the trial. The lawyer indicated that those presented by the prosecution are members of the Rapid Response Brigades. For their part, MCL activists have denounced Cardet’s case as being “fabricated” by the Cuban government to get him to stop his activism.
The extension of the preventive confinement of the opponent has generated pronouncements of international organizations such as Amnesty International, which declared him a prisoner of conscience. Similarly, the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation demanded his immediate release.