TORONTO, Oct. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Newly released documents reveal glaring contradictions in Cuba's reason for handing a 15 year sentence to 74-year-old Canadian businessman Cy Tokmakjian of Toronto, and confiscating the assets of the Tokmakjian companies.
"The documents have been released because the Court decision has ignored the strong evidence submitted by the Defence, in particular crucial testimony by relevant witnesses and experts including the international tax and audit firm Deloitte and the Cuban highly recognized tax expert Dr. Joaquín Cámbara, which demolished the charges of tax evasion, illicit economic activities and bribery," says Hermenegildo Altozano, the Tokmakjian Group representative and international attorney.
The Defence documents reveal:
a) What the Court considers as "illicit economic activity" not only is a generally accepted international business practice, but is also contemplated as a legal activity in the Cuban Code of Commerce, such as the discount of bills of exchange or the endorsement of letters of credit.
b) According to independent expert reports by Deloitte and Dr. Cambara, there are no legal grounds to establish a criminal offence for tax evasion when neither a tax determination nor a tax payment request have been made as mandated by Cuban criminal laws of tax evasion. Furthermore the court decision ignores the Double Taxation Agreement in force between Cuba and Barbados.
c) It was proven in court that courtesies/client attention were really simple, low level and inexpensive gestures that weren't meant to, nor did they result in any favors or benefits to Tokmakjian. Furthermore, there is no possibility for bribery in the case of Cy Tokmakjian given the strong control by the Cuban authorities of all economic activities. This control is translated into a complex and detailed authorization process. No import or supply by Tokmakjian companies was possible without the express prior approval by the highest Cuban authorities including the Central Bank of Cuba.
Human rights lawyer Lorne Waldman says Cy Tokmakjian's human rights were violated throughout his detention. "Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Mr. Tokmakjian was detained for more than 2 years before he was even charged with an offence. That is only one of the many violations of his rights that he has suffered since September 2011", says Waldman.
Meanwhile the son and two daughters of Cy Tokmakjian, Raffi, Sylvia and Ani, have taken to social media to increase awareness of their father's plight by launching a new twitter account https://twitter.com/BringCyHome #FreeCYTokmakjian
"This is a gross injustice and we need people to share the news that my father played by the rules and he is a victim of a lack of due process," says Raffi Tokmakjian. " He did nothing wrong."
SOURCE: Tokmakjian Group
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For a full list of Defence documents contact: