[Translation of an article from El Observador of Montevideo for October 17. See original here and related articles here.]
The Criminal Justice Department has taken new testimony in the case of alleged abuse by Uruguayan military personnel, members of the United Nations blue helmets, against a minor in Haiti. On Monday, new questioning was carried out of associates of the five military personnel being investigated.
Prosecutor Eduardo Fernández Dovat told El Observador that he and Judge Alejandro Guido took a statement via Skype from a marine in Haiti who is close to the military men under investigation. Three other associates on leave in Uruguay were also questioned.
The content of their statements cannot be divulged because it is part of the reserva presumario, stated the prosecutor, who indicated that the questioning of the four marines on Monday has ended.
The lawyer for the five marines, Gustavo Bordes, told Últimas Noticias that what is being sought with these statements is to show that after what occurred the Haitian youth maintained friendly relations with the uniformed personnel and that he would go to the compound gate for conversations. The lawyer holds that sufficient evidence thus exists to show that it was a matter of a prank.
Fernández Dovat stressed that “there have been no new developments concerning the location of the Haitian youth, whose statement is necessary in order to continue moving forward. We cannot move forward without locating him and this remains pending until the day he appears.”
The youth has not filed any charge in Uruguay, Fernández Dovat stated. “There is no indication in this country of the youth’s desire to move forward. We are waiting for his appearance, if he does appear,” he added.
If the youth does not appear, the case could be archived. “In order to indict in the crime of rape, it is six months from the time of the act; if during that time there is no indictment it would be archived,” the prosecutor explained.