García’s Case: The Appeal

Photos: Dania Virgen Garcia

An appeal has been filed against the sentence that could send Dania Virgen Garcia to prison for 20 months, before Havana’s Court of Appeals (Tribunal Provincial Popular). The legal process was filed by independent journalist Luis Cino.

Within three business days of the sentence, the party deemed guilty can file a written request for an appeal. This document must be submitted in the same court that issued the sentence, in this case, San Miguel del Padron’s municipal court. Then, the court has 48 hours to submit the case and the request for the appeal to Havana’s Court of Appeals.

Attorney at Law Wilfredo Vallin, president of the Cuban Judicial Association, wrote the petition for an appeal in Garcia’s case. It was submitted by independent journalist Luis Cino, but the court refused to accept it, despite having been written in the required legal terms. The court mandated the document to be submitted, in person, by the accused or her legal representative.

According to Cuba’s Criminal Procedure Law (LPP is its acronym in Spanish), a court can not refuse to accept a petition for an appeal unless the petition is submitted past the legal due date. The law also clearly specifies that any other reason for inadmissibility will be considered only by the superior court, once it has received the petition from the lower court. Despite the arbitrariness, Cino was able to hire a lawyer.

Within the first 15 days of May, Havana’s Court of Appeals will provide its ruling. This time, there will be no other legal instrument to challenge the court decision. Garcia could be set free, her sentence could be modified or left unchanged.

One way or the other, there is no other thing to do now except wait.

Filed under Dania Virgen Garcia

Translated by: Mailyn Salabarria

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