GTA businessman jailed in Cuba maintains his innocence
Now facing 15-year-sentence, Cy Tokmakjian, head of Ontario-based
Tokmakjian Group, tells son Rafi claims against him completely false
By: The Canadian Press Published on Mon Sep 29 2014
VAUGHAN, ONT.—The son of a Canadian businessman jailed in Cuba on
corruption-related charges says his father maintains he's innocent and
is determined to fight for his freedom.
Rafi Tokmakjian says the claims against his father Cy, who has been
sentenced to 15 years in prison, are completely false.
He says he's spoken to his father over the phone and he insists he's
done nothing wrong.
Tokmakjian says his father — who owns the Ontario-based transportation
company Tokmakjian Group — has done business for 40 years both in Canada
and abroad without any problem.
He says his father ran his business appropriately and in accordance with
every single law in those jurisdictions.
The company said its lawyers were notified Friday that Tokmakjian, 74,
was convicted and sentences on a variety of charges that Cuban officials
call part of a widespread campaign against graft.
He was held for more than two years before being tried in June.
The company's Cuban offices were raided in 2011 as Cuba launched an
anti-graft drive that has swept up foreign business executives from at
least five nations as well as government officials and dozens of Cuban
employees at key state-run companies.
Foreign business people have long considered payoffs ranging from a free
meal to cash deposits in overseas accounts to be an unavoidable cost of
doing business in Cuba. President Raul Castro has said that rooting out
rampant corruption is one of the country's most important challenges.
Tokmakjian Group issued a statement earlier this year saying Tokmakjian
did nothing wrong and suggested he didn't get a fair trial.
Toronto-area MP Peter Kent has called the conviction "a travesty of
justice," and is calling for Tokmakjian to be sent back to Canada.
Source: GTA businessman jailed in Cuba maintains his innocence | Toronto