Opponents’ Attorney Can’t Practice
Opponents’ Attorney Can’t Practice / Lilianne Ruiz
Posted on February 24, 2014
HAVANA, Cuba – The attorney Amelia Rodríguez Cala, hired by Gorki Águila
to conduct his defense — in a trial against him still unscheduled since
it was postponed on 11 February — has been suddenly sanctioned to six
months without the ability to practice her profession in court. For this
reason, the singer of the punk band Porno para Ricardo will have to find
another attorney to represent him.
Although Cubanet could not obtain statements from Rodríguez Cala, this
information was provided first by Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello and
confirmed by Gorki Águila and Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in
White, who told this paper she had hired Rodríguez Cala on 27 January to
represent her before the courts of the Department of State Security,
responsible for looking that organization’s headquarters on 3 January, a
judicial action without precedent since 1959, according to Soler.
She also said that her attorney had taken her investigation to the
Picota police station where they had taken the various items stolen from
the headquarters that day at 5:30 in the morning, but there they told
her everything was in the hands of Villa Marista, main interrogation
headquarters of the Cuban political police.
The labor sanction against Rodríguez Cala also left incomplete the
process initiated by Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello to ask the court to
revoke her parole or immediately cease the physical and psychological
attacks, the siege and the police cordon that surrounds her own house
and that flares up every Wednesday to prevent her meeting with Network
of Community Communicators, over which Roque Cabello presides. The
answer of the Court, so far, as been that it “has no evidence” to proceed.
Roque Cabello says that the attorney Rodríguez Cala has defended her
since 1997, and she especially remembers the time before the trial began
that would once again send her to prison in March of 2003, when the
attorney for the defense hugged her, visibly moved, to tell her that
they hadn’t even allowed her to see the file against her.
During the 3 days that the so-called Black Spring trial lasted,
Rodríguez Cala defended 25 of the 75 accused. In total, she has defended
150 dissidents in her career.
Gorki Águila, meanwhile, faces a trial still without a date and now
without an attorney, where he would submit the complete documentation
stamped by the Notary Registry of the Mexican Department of the Interior
and the Cuban Consulate in that country, which proves that he takes the
two Tradea pills that the police found in his backpack on prescription.
The prosecutor — because of the police complaint — seeks to try Águila
for “production, sale, demand, trafficking, distribution, having illegal
drugs, narcotics, psychotropics and other similar effects.”
In Section 191, subsection C, under which they want to condemn him,
reads: “The mere possession of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances
and other similar effects without due authorization or prescription, is
punished: -C) with privation of liberty of three months to a year, or a
fine of one hundred to three hundred shares* (…)”
According to Águila, Rodríguez Cala showed she was sure of being able to
free him from prison, thanks to the documents proving his innocence.
Because of the summary nature of the trial against Águila doesn’t allow
the defense to produce proofs until the moment of the trial. Numerous of
the singer’s friends on the social networks remain alert and have opened
the website: La Libertad de Gorki es la de tod@s! [Gorki’s freedom is
Finally, Rodríguez Cala also was the writer of Review Appeal document
for Angel Santiesteban. The award-winning Cuban writer being held at
military forced-labor center in Havana. On 28 February he will have been
in prison for a year. The document intends to demonstrate that his trial
was spurious, without due process, in which the defendant was defenseless.
The Minister of Justice has not responded regarding whether he will
order the promotion of the Review Appeal initiated by Cala Rodríguez
As of now and for six months, the attorney has been demoted, with a much
lower salary than she had as a professional, to a technical position
(which in practice is carried out by an associate), fetching and
carrying papers for other attorneys, in a Legal Collective in La Lisa
*Translator’s note: The Cuban legal system establishes fines as “shares”
so that the actual amounts can be administratively adjusted over time
without having to change the underlying laws.
22 February 2014
Source: Opponents’ Attorney Can’t Practice / Lilianne Ruiz | Translating