Sunday, March 31, 2013

Angel Santiesteban Responds to the Havana Times

Angel Santiesteban Responds to the Havana Times / Angel Santiesteban
Posted on March 30, 2013

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

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