Canadian citizen Antonio Carbone, who has been incarcerated in the Dominican Republic for almost two years without a trial

Car bombs kill people – Another Day in the Dominican Republic

The pictures below illustrate the debris that flies out from the force of a car bomb, usually killing or seriously injuring people. If Baez was getting out of his car, as he alleged when it exploded, he would have been killed by flying debris, or at the very least, would have sustained very serious injuries requiring hospitalization.

A ludicrous set of alleged facts

The statements of the witnesses is nothing short of ludicrous by international legal standards. They are not internally consistent, are not consistent with each other and are not consistent with other evidence. The Dominican government has decided to pursue the case against Mr. Carbone on spurious evidence nonetheless, and to ignore the recantations. The following is how the prosecutor must describe the events on December 1, 2014, in Court, based on the witnesses’ sworn statements:

  • It is the end of the work day in the Dominican Republic on December 1, 2014;
  • Mr. Baez leaves the casino;
  • His boss, Mr. Carbone, is at the casino;
  • When he sees Baez leave, Mr. Carbone goes to his car and follows Baez by car from the casino to Baez’ gated community;
  • Mr. Carbone manages to gain access to the gated community where Baez lives;
  • Baez parks his car;
  • Mr. Carbone parks his car;
  • Mr. Carbone goes over to the Baez car and stands there holding a car bomb that could explode at any moment in his hand;
  • Baez steps out of the car;
  • Mr. Carbone tosses the bomb through the open rear window of the car;
  • The bomb immediately explodes in back of Baez’ car with a loud noise and the car is immediately engulfed in flames;
  • Pressure from the bomb sends glass and metal debris flying in all directions;
  • Baez is not thrown to the ground or in any way injured from the exploding car bomb;
  • Baez narrowly escapes death;
  • Baez calls 911 and never speaks to Mr. Carbone who is apparently right beside him;
  • Mr. Carbone is not injured from the exploding car bomb;
  • The police arrive;
  • The police don’t arrest Mr. Carbone;
  • Mr. Carbone gets in his car and drives out of the gated complex;
  • Mr. Carbone drives back to the casino;
  • Mr. Carbone encounters the second witness at the casino;
  • Mr. Carbone apparently celebrates the death or the attempted death of Baez with the second witness; and
  • Mr. Carbone is arrested 55 days later in the Dominican Republic for the attempted murder of Baez.

Upholding the rule of law

Mr. Carbone is facing life imprisonment. Because he is being detained in circumstances that seem to be a violation of the rule of law, there is a possibility that the people who put him there will kill him before his trial – and probably long before that to prevent him from returning to Canada.

All Canadians have a constitutional right to due process of law and not to be wrongfully detained or imprisoned. In addition to the right to liberty, Canadians also have the obvious right to life. If they kill him while he is in detention, the gravity of the situation increases.

When and if he is released, as ordered, the law would dictate that he be allowed to return to Canada to prepare for the trial with counsel of his choice. He may try to get back control of the casinos and the other gambling operations because, despite the litigation, he and his brother are its major shareholders. Some news stories speak to a change of control of Dream Corporation that allegedly ousted the Carbone brothers but the Carbone brothers cannot have sold their shares while one was incarcerated and while the shares are subject to a freezing Court order in Ontario in which the parties conceded jurisdiction in respect thereof. Besides the Court order which would seem at first blush to render any dealing in the corporate affairs of Dream Corporation a nullity, the sale of their shares in Dream Corporation must be worth at least 85% of the US$110 million borrowed, possibly more. Besides Mr. DeGroot, there would likely be few purchasers around to afford to be able to buy out the Carbone brothers’ share of the casino business and a third party would likely take a pass at the due diligence phase of the proposed transaction.

International Criminal Court

There is another interesting aspect to this case. Based on the recanted evidence and the continued incarceration of Mr. Carbone after his release was ordered, his family likely has a cause of action in the International Criminal Court against the government of the Dominican Republic, and state actors who may have participated in his incarceration, when appeals are exhausted. The Dominican Republic is a signatory to the Rome Statute, and ergo, it can be sued at The Hague if Mr. Carbone is convicted. The ICC has jurisdiction in cases where it is alleged that false evidence was used in a criminal proceeding. False evidence deprives a person of their right to a fair trial, and affects the administration of international justice and is an offence under the Rome Statute. The secret recordings obtained by the CBC and the Globe & Mail of discussions among certain persons to buy evidence speak to the issue in support of a claim of human rights abuses under the Rome Statute involving Mr. Carbone.

The Dominican Republic is ranked year after year as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and its corruption is systemic involving the private and public sector, as well as the judiciary, according to this report. The prosecutor in this particular case has gone on the record as saying that the police do contract killings.

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