Judge’s strange release of suspect roils US-Dominican gun-trafficking case
Sano Domingo.- .Santiago judge Ingrid Liberato, who releasedDominican-American Carmen Katherine O’Neal charged with gun trafficking, didn’tdo so for lack of evidence, and claimed issues of territoriality instead.
Santiago prosecutor Luisa Liranzo said Liberato ruled to setO’Neal free because the Cibao Airport is “international territory.”
Liranzo called the ruling "hairbrained" because anair terminal in any country is under that nation’s laws. "We presented allthe evidence from the receipts for the purchase of the weapons to the weaponsthemselves."
She said she’ll immediately appeal the release of O’Neal,who was arrested at Cibao International Airport in June last year, carrying a duffelbag with12 guns, a shotgun, and 250 9mm rounds.
Liranzo said because a judge ruled three months of pretrialdetention for O’Neal, the prosecution filed all the evidence against her ontime to start the proceeding. "The prosecution immediately filed the appealonce the ruling was notified, but it was the same court that ordered the liftingof the decision that weighed over her."
She didn’t offer further details to elnacional.com.do, butconfirmed that O’Neal left the Dominican Republic.
Last week prosecutors from Denver, Colorado, headed byRobert Brown visited Liranzo to investigate gun trafficking to and from theDominican Republic and also another case O’neal has pending in the US.
It emerged that the US prosecutors seek cooperation by Dominicanauthorities to prevent arms trafficking to finance organized crime.