Cody: Still presumed innocent

Cody Lecompte
  A story today in the Toronto Sun suggests Cody LeCompte is being held in Cuba because of a "a “bizarre” law requiring a driver to prove innocence after any traffic accident that causes death or injury. "You’re guilty until proven innocent,” Cody's mother, Danette LeCompte, told the newspaper.
  While it certainly might seem this way to the LeComptes, the reality is that Cuba, like many nations, considers an accused person innocent until proven otherwise. "The burden of proof lies with the prosecution," according to a primer on Cuban law published by the country's ministry of external relations.
   Even foes of the Communist government admit that the presumption of innocence, a principle that dates to ancient Rome, applies in Cuba. The Florida-based Cuba Free Press Project cites Article 3 of Cuba's Rules of Criminal Procedures, which reads: "Every defendant is presumed innocent until sentenced."
    The authors, however, note that the code also allows an accused to be prosecuted and detained without the defence being informed of these actions. It's difficult to reconcile this denial of the right to a fair trial  another basic premise of legal systems  with any earlier presumption of innocence.
   This approach, though, seems mainly to apply to cases of political dissent. Other accused, such as Cody LeCompte, can expect to get their due process  in the fullness of Cuban time.

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