Center For Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
CASE 1775 (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)
CASE 1775. October 10, 1973, reporting:
In addition, it was reported that the proceedings against Peña had been marked by irregularities and that he had been sentenced on the basis of false evidence and the complainants offered to send to the Commission corroborative evidence of their statements.
In view of the report, the Commission decided at its thirty-first session (October 1973) to request the complainant to supplement it with the corroborative evidence and, if appropriate, to transmit the pertinent parts of the report to the Dominican Republic, in request for information, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure.
In implementation of this decision, a note was sent to the complainant on November 21, 1973.
The complainant supplemented the report as required by the Rules of Procedure. Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to the decision taken at the thirty-first session, requested the Government of the Dominican Republic, in a note dated October 10, 1974, to provide the pertinent information.
At the thirty-fourth session (October 1974), the Commission, considering that the processing of the matter with the Government concerned had only recently begun, decided to postpone its examination of the case until the Government of the Dominican Republic sent the information requested. In a communication dated November 19, 1974, it informed the complainant of the processing of the case.
The Government of the Dominican Republic, through its Permanent Mission to the OAS (Letter No. 258), replied to the request of the CIDH. The note of the Secretariat of State of that country, which was sent with the above mentioned letter, reads as to follows:
Santo Domingo, D.N.
November 26, 1974
I have the honor to address your Excellency in reply to the note dated October 11 of this year concerning case No. 1775 before this Inter-American Agency.
To that end, I wish to communicate to Your Excellency the following information, in accordance with the investigations made by the competent department of my Government:
The Court of Appeals of Santo Domingo, seized by the appeal of the accused, Mr. Julio de Peña Valdez, on October 3, 1972, amended the above-mentioned sentence as regards the determination of the nature of the offense given in that sentence and the penalty imposed, and condemned the above-mentioned Julio Augusto de Peña Valdez to three years' imprisonment and a fine of 2,000 pesos for the offenses with which he was charged, ordering that, should he be insolvent, the fine should be compensated by imprisonment at the rate of one day of imprisonment for each peso unpaid, provided that the maximum duration did not exceed two years' imprisonment.
On the appeal filed by Mr. Peña Valdez, the Supreme Court of Justice, on June 29, 1973, acting as a Court of Appeal, basing itself on the fact that the weapons for whose possession he was condemned were not seen either by the investigating Judge or by the Judges that examined the merits of the case, quashed the sentence of the Court of Appeal of Santo Domingo and referred the matter to the Court of Appeal of San Cristobal, which is still seized with it.
A writ of habeas corpus was filed on behalf of Julio de Peña Valdez and colitigants. The Supreme Court of Justice, on May 20, 1974, handed down a Judgment on the case, ordering that the accused be freed. The operative part of this decision is as follows:
Accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
FABIO F. HERRERA CABRAL
Secretary of State for Foreign Relations