Despite support from legislators and other influential figures, the courts have rejected an appeal against the order for one-year pre-trial custody for Unatrafin transport union leader Arsenio Quevedo.
The Public Prosecution Service accuses Quevedo of belonging to a network of hit men responsible for the murders of several transport workers. He is also accused of money laundering. National District prosecutors say that Quevedo headed a contract killing operation that was allegedly implemented by Pedro Brand councilor Ericson de los Santos who is also in pre-trial custody. Prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso said recently that while De los Santos was involved in the operational arm, “the person who planned and decided when and who was executed was Arsenio Quevedo”.
Two deputies attended the appeal against the remand terms of a year in jail for the president of Unatrafin. The legislators who have signed a letter agreeing to be guarantors for Quevedo are deputies Francisco Bautista (PLD) and Luis Castillo (PRD). Elias Pina senator Adriano Sanchez Roa and mayor Fernando Cubilete also expressed support for Quevedo.
The hearing began at 11am yesterday, Monday, 28 December 2015, and was ordered by the judge to be behind closed doors to prevent any disorder in the court. The decision to maintain pre-trial custody was made late in the evening by the Third Hall of the Court of Appeals of the Penal Chamber.
Quevedo is being held in the new model prison in Higuey together with another man implicated in the case, Danilo Octavio Reynoso Recio, also known as Danilo El Prieto.
Upon leaving the court, Senator Sanchez Roa said that as spokesman for the PLD block of senators he could not sign the guarantee so Quevedo could be released on bail but expressed his support for Quevedo.