Local February 9, 2012 | 9:07 am

Top Spanish hoteliers also say the country lacks legal security

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic.- The Spanish hotel chain Grupo Barceló on Wednesday joined a growing choir of foreign companies which have complained of a lack of requested legal security for foreign investment, just two months after a similar complaint by the Ambassador from the United Kingdom.

Barceló asked the presidents of the Republic and of the Supreme Court to provide legal security, after the Altagracia province (east) Collegiate Court, headed by an interim judge, sentenced the resort’s top executives to five years in prison.

In a statement, the owner of several hotels in the area of Bavaro said the judicial decision stems from a civil and commercial suit related to a confiscation lien, executed by a tenant in the complex, whose contract had expired and for default in payment.

It said the eviction order led to an accusation of larceny by robbery, then to temporary incarceration and a ban on leaving the country, “concluding with a sentence of alleged aggravated robbery.”

The sentence was handed down November 23, 2011, the same day in which United Kingdom ambassador Steven Fisher complained of a lack of legal security for foreign investors.

The sentence was appealed in the San Pedro Appellate Court, after the ruling by the Altagracia Collegiate Court, headed by interim judge Vicente Marte Jiménez, who replaced the presiding judge for that hearing, conducted with the other judges Arístides Dalmiro Heredia and Cindy Rosario Santana.

Barceló said faced with the ruling, the company and the defendants had denounced the irregularities and the investigation process to the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the current Justice Minister, as well as the activities of which they’ve been victim of, by way of pressure by the plaintiffs to obtain an onerous transaction.

“We regret having to make this publication for the purpose of reminder of the repeated requests done by our company in that regard, but we feel abandoned in the face of so much injustice, by the evident absence of legal security, although we know that it isn’t generalized, and instead focused in concrete jurisdictions.”

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