Categorized | National News

RBDF Tribunal To Resume Soon

The Cuban government is expected to facilitate the return of its citizens to The Bahamas to participate in the ongoing case involving the alleged abuse of Cuban detainees by Royal Bahamas Defense Force officers (RBDF) at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell.

“The letters rogatory have been delivered to the Cuban government and we think it’s just a short time before it’s resolved of which we expect that the witnesses will come to The Bahamas, I believe that the Cuban government has indicated that they are in a position to comply so we expect it to be resolved,” he said.

Minister Mitchell said the letters were sent to the Cuban government last week.

Mr. Mitchell, however was unable to say how many witnesses will participate and he was also unable to provide a timeline as to when the witnesses will return to the country.

He added that the tribunal adjourned the case but a date has not been set as yet.

“Justice is supposed to be served and should be as quick as possible, so it’s a good thing, the quicker, the better it’s resolved, what concerns me is justice,” he said.

“You try to have these things administered as quickly as possible but you have to be fair to all parties concerned and that the real thing here is justice must be served and the international cementation, I suppose you take note of it but that really doesn’t have anything to do with the delivery of justice.”

Last year, the story gained international attention after a South Florida Spanish TV Station aired the video of a man abusing Cuban detainees, purporting it to have been done at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre.

The government has since denied the abuse of the detainees and the authenticity of the video.

The controversial video sparked protests from Cuban nationals in Miami known as Democracy Movement who protested against The Bahamas for months after allegations surfaced.

A number of the protesters held hunger strikes and picketed outside the Bahamas Consulate’s Office in Miami, shouting in Spanish, “Don’t go to The Bahamas.”

The government also received backlash from the Free National Movement (FNM) last year who claimed that Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell was involved in a cover-up of international proportions.

FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis claimed that the abuse was so bad that some of the detainees had to be taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).

Dr. Minnis claimed that he had seen a report that proved law enforcement officials had in fact abused the Cuban detainees and demanded the resignation of the Mr. Mitchell.

Five RBDF officers are involved in the case.

Those officers accused of abusing the Cuban detainees were given a chance to defend themselves during internal proceedings which began last year November.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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