HAVANA TIMES — After serving 2.5 years of his 9-year sentence for corruption, Canadian businessman Sarkis Yacoubian was suddenly released and is now back home in Toronto, reports Associated Press on Sunday.
Yacoubian, the president of the Tri-Star Caribbean import company, was arrested in 2011 in one of Raul Castro’s crackdowns on corruption. He was formally charged in April 2013 of bribery, tax evasion and “activities damaging to the economy,” and tried in late May.
“I can’t discuss on what grounds I was expelled,” said the 53-year-old Yacoubian. “When somebody goes to jail, most of them claim that they were innocent. It’s not only the facts that support this for me, but official recognition that supports this,” Yacoubian told AP from his mother’s home in Toronto.
“I’m still confused. They released me on 24-48 hours’ notice, I still don’t know exactly how this whole thing happened. I’m trying to figure out what happened, who had interest behind it, which were the organizations or companies that did what they did to me. So it’s just 48 hours. The decision, nobody knew that. They just said we’re going to let you out,” said Yacoubian.
The release of Yacoubian has not been reported in the Cuban press.