Noto de la Comisión de 7 de diciembre de 1993 en la cula solicita audiencia para referirse al informe enviado por la división general del cuerpo técnico de la policía judicial de Venezuela, el cual pide sea declarado nulo.


December 7, 1993

Ref: Case 10.274

Dear Member of the Permanent Commission:

The Inter-American Commission and its legal advisor in the above referenced case respectfully address the members of the permanent commission of the Inter-American Court concerning the Court's communication dated December 1, 1993. By means of that communication, the Court's Secretary transmitted to the Commission's delegate additional proof received by the Court in accordance with the Court's Resolution of July 10, 1992.

It maybe recalled that the Commission and its legal advisor, upon receiving notice of the Court's Resolution of July 10,.1992, requested the right to examine witnesses consulted by the Court, and as well specifically requested that any experts consulted by the Court as to medical or forensic aspects of this case be informed of ¬the oral testimony of Dr. M.A. Vrede introduced at trial¬. (See attachment: Commission letter of October 19, 1992) Dr. Vrede testified before the Court to the presence of blood on the victim's scrotum. Dr. Vrede stated under oath that the injury causing the presence of that blood would most likely have occurred just prior to the victim's death, as a result of the application of brute force. this testimony confirmed and elaborated upon the finding in noted in Dr. Vrede's autopsy report that blood was present in the left and right sides of the victim's scrotum.

The Court initially responded to these requests on November 9, 1992 by notifying the Commission that the matter would not be decided by the President of the Court, but would be put before the Court. Pursuant to its Resolution of February 4, 1993, the Court communicated the text of the expert report it had thus far received. The Court resolved on March 15, 1993, that it would not hold an audience for the purpose of examining experts consulted by the Court.

The Court has not, however, responded to our request that any medical or forensic experts consulted by the Court be informed of Dr. Vrede's testimony before the

Permanent Commission

Inter-American Court of Human Rights

San Jose, Costa Rica

the Court. This testimony, drawn from a witness proffered by the Government, is clearly of critical importance in this case. Moreover, this testimony provided conclusive proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the victim had in fact been subjected to torture in the area of his genital region shortly before his death.

The report of Drs. Aponte, Simoes and Cavazos, received on December 1, 1993, listed the bases for the conclusions drawn. The information provided to the experts included no evidence or testimony raised in the hearing before the Court. The experts note in their report that it was not possible for them to observe the area of the victim's scrotum, as it was obscured in the photographic evidence they were provided with. Nonetheless, the experts conclude in their report: at page 4(a), that they did not observe any hematomas or other evidence of trauma; at page 5(b) the experts note an ¬absence of physical violence ¬; and on the last page (unnumbered) of our transmission at (g), the experts note that in the photographic information provided there is no evidence of torture. Absent knowledge of the testimony confirming the presence of blood on the victim's scrotum as a consequence of the application of blunt force shortly before the victim's death, the conclusions drawn in this report are invalid. any evaluation of proof in this case, absent the critical information provided at trial, is misleading and prejudicial. for this reason we respectfully request that the Court declare the report provided by Drs. Aponte, Simoes and Cavazos null and void for any use in this case.

Because we believe the receipt of this misleading and prejudicial report by the Court constitutes a very serious issue in this case, we hereby respectfully request an audience in order to present argumentation before the Court in support of our motion that this report be declared null and void.

We would also note to the Court that, although Secretary Ventura noted in the Court's communication that the report was received by the Court on December 1, 1993, the report is in fact dated September 9, 1993. We respectfully wish to enquire as to the reason for the delayed transmission of this report.


David Padilla Claudio Grossman

Assistant Executive Secretary Legal Advisor

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