Prosecutors order arrest of seven Digesett officers in Canodromo incident

The Public Prosecutor’s Office issued an arrest order against the former head of the “Canódromo El Coco” Vehicle Retention Center, Police Colonel Ysabelita de los Santos Pérez, and six other subordinates. These are accused of committing a cybercrime when they deleted information from a cell phone of a reporter of the Listin Diario newspaper.

In addition to De los Santos Perez, National District Public Prosecutor Santa Matilde Reyes Valenzuela accuses police officials Geraldina de los Santos, Marisol Vargas, Javier Natanael, Starling Antonio Ramirez Sierra, Ronny Recio Rosario and Carlos O. Borque Paulino Braulio Perez in the same case.

The prosecutor says there is sufficient evidence to reasonably sustain that the accused are authors or accomplices of violating articles 60, 224, 309 of the Dominican Penal Code, articles 3 and 4 and 27 of Law 19-01, articles 4, 5, 10 and 11 of Law 153-07, on high-tech crimes, and article 190 of the Dominican Constitution.

All of the accused are assigned to the General Security, Transit and Land Transportation Agency (Digesett).

The arrest was issued after the aggression to Ombusman Pablo Ulloa and the journalists. Ulloa, a Listín Diario journalist and her photographer, and a cameraman from the CDN TV station had visited the Canódromo vehicular retention center for the inspection. The visit was a follow-up to reports published by Listin Diario covering suspected major irregularities at the center and the tribulations of vehicle owners in regaining their confiscated vehicles.

During the incident, Digesett personnel violently seized the cell phone of Listin Diario journalist Lourdes Aponte and deleted the video and photographic files that recorded the incidents. The cell phone was later returned to the newspaper, but the data had been erased.

Listin Diario reports that on April 11 of this year, Ombudsman Pablo Enrique Ulloa Castillo, accompanied by Harold Alfredo Modesto Sánchez, secretary general; Richard Alberto Peña Sánchez, cameraman; and Rosario María Maríñez Medina, journalist of the Ombudsman office went to the Canódromo to carry out an inspection.

The ombudsman invited journalist Lourdes Sheryl Aponte and photographer Raúl Emilio Asencio of this newspaper and Manuel Adrián Olivo, cameraman for CDN to join them on the inspection. When they arrived, they were beaten and pushed by the accused, causing lacerations and damage to their work equipment.

Colonel Ysabelita de los Santos Pérez prevented the Ombudsman from entering the center, which led to physical and verbal aggressions against the Ombudsman and some of the personnel accompanying him.

The accusatory file indicates: “At that moment, the accused Braulio Pérez, P.N., snatched the recording camera, property of CDN, from the journalist Víctor Manuel Adrián Olivo, a smart watch, which he used for his work, and the accused Starling Antonio Ramírez Sierra, who is an ex-military man, physically assaulted him.

“When everyone continued advancing towards the offices they became aggressive, moments later the accused Starling Antonio Ramirez Sierra, physically assaulted Mr. Pablo Enrique Ulloa Castillo, Ombudsman, giving him a blow to the back and pushing him aggressively, causing him physical injuries that could heal from one to ten days, as stated in the legal medical certificate No. 43943.

“The aggressions continued on the part of the Digesett personnel, and “this is when the accused Geraldina De Los Santos, P.N., physically assaulted and pulled the victim Lourdes Sheryl Aponte Jones by the hair, causing injuries lasting from 1 to 10 days.”

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Listin Diario

23 June 2022