Thursday, July 19, 2012

Increase in Penal Cases Filed in Courts of the Capital

Increase in Penal Cases Filed in Courts of the Capital / Cuban Legal
Advisor, Yaremis Floris / Laritza Diversent
Cuban Legal Advisor, Translator: Unstated, Yaremis Flores

By Yaremis Flores

The increase in police reports and criminal trials held in the capital,
were among the topics discussed a few weeks ago in a meeting among
presidents of municipal courts in the former Audiencia de la Habana*,
facing the Capitol.

A judge who participated in the meeting and requested anonymity, said
that the filing of cases has doubled. "One of the objectives of the
meeting was to strategize about the increase in crime in the capital
Havana" he said.

"The Municipal Court in Central Havana has the most cases reported in
the country," confessed another judge, on condition of anonymity.
However, according to figures from the National Statistics Office, until
31 December 2011, Centro Habana ranks eighth in population density, with
149,995 inhabitants.

"The Criminal Chamber of ordinary procedure (crimes carrying sentences
of 1-3 years in prison) settled 132 cases this year, by July 2, similar
to the number filed in 2011 up to December 12 of that year."

"In the same court, the Criminal Chamber of summary procedure (offenses
punishable with from 3 months to one year imprisonment) has already had
212 cases filed, while in 2011 it closed the year with 240 criminal
cases, excluding 53 cases of complaints that are pending review," the
source said.

Police stations in Central Havana receive a total of 900 crime reports a
month, the judge said, with threats, robbery with violence, theft
between homosexuals, and carrying a weapon, are the most common crimes.

"By way of a solution, the police applied excessive fines to prevent
cases reaching the Court. But they have imposed this measure on
ex-offenders, contrary to the provisions of the Legal Code," he said.

According to unofficial forecasts crime is expected to keep growing,
with the celebration of carnival in Havana starting in mid-July.
Traditionally in these celebrations, injury offenses and public disorder
predominate even more.

*Translator's note: The "Real Audiencia de la Habana" was a crown court
established in 1838 when Cuba was under Spanish rule.

July 18 2012

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