Sunday, July 31, 2011

462. Cuba: Airline and Pharmaceutical Executives Convicted on Bribery Charges

By Radio Cadena Agramonte, July 30, 2011

Havana- The Provincial Court of Havana convicted ten former executives and officials of the Cuban Institute of Civil Aeronautics and the Commercializing Enterprise of Pharmaceutical Products HEBER BIOTEC S.A on bribery and handed down sentences of three to 13 years. 

An official statement released Friday says the defendants were found guilty of favoring foreign companies in negotiations, at the expense of Cuban enterprises, in exchange of cash bribes and perks. 

The communiqué, which provides the names of the people found guilty and the sentences they were given, states that the sanctions were based on the seriousness of the crimes for the substantial loss to the Cuban economy and the deterioration of the defendants’ ethical values, as well as the level of responsibility of each of them and their conduct. 

The stiffest sanction went to Cubana de Aviacion’s Freight Director Jose Heriberto Prieto Ferrer, sentenced to 13 years. 

There were other three executives from Cubana de Aviacion with sentences of 10 to six years; one from Corporación de la Aviación Civil S.A (CACSA); and one from AEROVARADERO S.A. both condemned to six years.  

From HEBER BIOTEC S.A, former Head of the Exports Department Jair Rodriguez Martin received a 10-year sentence, while Edamir Medina Mendez, exports technician was condenmed to three.

The Court also convicted the manager and deputy manager of CARIBE CARGO S.A, Alexei Crespo Gutiérrez and Maria Antonia Lopez Gonzalez on continued bribery and handed down sentences of six and seven years repectively. 

The two latter defendants are still pending for another trial on corruption. 

In addition to the jail terms, the sanctions included the confiscation of goods and cash adquired by the defendants as the result of the illegal activity and the prohibition of exercising the professions, posts or positions they were holding.

The communiqué says the defendants and the prosecutor have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court.(ACN)

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