Canadian man stuck in Cuba face second trial, inspires Montreal protest

[ad_1] Staff with a report from CTV Montréal's Matt Grillo

Published Sunday, December 9, 2018 8:40 PM EST

Protesters gathered outside a Cuban tourism office in Montreal to support a father who has been stuck in Cuba for over a year – and faces a second trial on Monday for his involvement in a fatal boating accident.

During a family trip to Cuba in July 2017, Montreal's resident, Tothic Benhamiche, was driving a boat that had gone out of control and killed an Ontario woman. He was charged and persecuted by criminal negligence causing death.

Benhamichhe was released from Kasadi after his conviction and his four-year prison had been overthrown by Cuba's top site.

"It was fantastic news for me, and at that time I felt the nightmare is finishing," Benhamiché told CTV Montréal of Cuba.

He and his lawyer have alleged that he was given very little direction on how to operate the boat.

But although his conviction was translated last summer, Benhamiche was not allowed to go home. On Monday, he will be tried again for criminal negligence, after a second trial has been ordered.

On Sunday, more than 50 protesters gathered in Montreal to demand the Canadian and Cuban government to get home.

"It may happen to anyone, like any tourist who was there, and to see the injustice that prevails in Cuba, we must do something," said Pretester Linda Pellery.

Beniamiches wife, Kahina Bensaadi, told KTV Montréal that the situation is "very difficult." Although her husband was not in prison, she said that he was in one.

"It is as if you are in prison if you can not work, you can not see your family, you can not kiss your two daughters every night," she said that he did not trust the system in Cuba.

"It's the same judges who have ignored the law a year and a half earlier," Bensaadi said. "It is completely unrealistic, they ignore everything we feel in the Middle Ages."

She said that he was forced to send him money to pay for the Cuban apartment he was staying in. The couple had the hardest thing about explaining it to their children.

"They say to me, Daddy you will never come back home?" Benhamiche said.

Civil rights lawyer Julius Gray said his client was not guilty and claimed that his rights were violated. He believes, Cuba's highest court should have the latest say in this case.

"What we want them [the Canadian government] To do is to make a consideration, a critical effort to get him out, "he told CTV Montréal." It only shows us that no one of us could fall into such a situation anywhere, or even here, and no one is worried. "

In a statement, Global Affairs Canada said Consular officials are providing services and are in frequent contact with Benhamiche, his wife and authorities in Cuba.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, Benhamiche is preparing for a guilty verdict, and if he happens, he and his lawyer plan to refund.

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