Judge’s strange release of suspect roils US-Dominican gun trafficking case
Santo Domingo.- .Santiago judge Ingrid Liberato, who released Dominican-American Carmen Katherine O’Neal charged with gun trafficking, didn’t do so for lack of evidence, and claimed issues of territoriality instead.
Santiago prosecutor Luisa Liranzo said Liberato ruled to set O’Neal free because the Cibao Airport is “international territory.”
Liranzo called the ruling “hairbrained” because an air terminal in any country is under that nation’s laws. “We presented all the evidence from the receipts for the purchase of the weapons to the weapons themselves.”
She said she’ll immediately appeal the release of O’Neal, who was arrested at Cibao International Airport in June last year, carrying a duffel bag with12 guns, a shotgun, and 250 9mm rounds.
Liranzo said because a judge ruled three months of pretrial detention for O’Neal, the prosecution filed all the evidence against her on time to start the proceeding. “The prosecution immediately filed the appeal once the ruling was notified, but it was the same court that ordered the lifting of the decision that weighed over her.”
She didn’t offer further details to elnacional.com.do, but confirmed that O’Neal left the Dominican Republic.
Last week prosecutors from Denver, Colorado, headed by Robert Brown visited Liranzo to investigate gun trafficking to and from the Dominican Republic and also another case O’neal has pending in the US.
It emerged that the US prosecutors seek cooperation by Dominican authorities to prevent arms trafficking to finance organized crime.
Aug 9, 2016
Category: DR News |