Mr. Patrick Hundley, founder of Daystar Properties in Jaco, Costa Rica, was arrested in Costa Rica on February 17, 2014. He was held for over 6 months. The crimes against Mr. Hundley include violation of his human rights, being held without showing probable cause, false representation by the Costa Rican legal system, and extortion.
On February 17, 2014, Mr. Hundley voluntarily showed up for a deposition at the Prosecutors office in Puntarenas with documents to present his side of the business dispute. The prosecuting attorney’s request for Mr. Hundley to give a deposition turned out to be false pretenses. After asking Mr. Hundley a couple of personal family questions several officers came into the room and handcuffed him. He does not speak Spanish and the translator available could not explain to him what was happening. Mr. Hundley never presented his side of the dispute. Instead of giving a deposition, he was arrested with no explanation and no legal rights.
Mr. Hundley has been held in prison in Costa Rica for 6 months with no probable cause, no hearing on the facts of the case and no end in sight. The judge determined that he should be held in Preventiva while the prosecutor attempted to build his case against Mr.Hundley. Mr. Hundley was in Perez Zeledon Prison where he was in a cell with 60 other men (the cell was built for 22 people). Some cellmates were convicted murders. Sixty men shared one shower, one toilet and one urinal. Most men sleep on the concrete floor. The conditions at this prison are inhumane and something you hear about in third world countries.
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION
Holding Mr. Hundley in prison under Preventiva was an injustice and a violation of the standards of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11 (1.):
"Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence."
Mr. Hundley’s bail was lowered from 3.5 million dollars down to 2 million dollars on June 16th (four months after arrest). On July 7th Mr.Hundley's bail was lowered again, this time to $1.5 million. Unlike in countries where actual amount required is a percentage of bail (such as 10%), the FULL bail amount is required to be posted in order to be released from prison. Legal opinion is that these bail amounts are the largest bails in Costa Rican history.
According to Section #250 in The Criminal Law Procedure Code of Costa Rica, bail is to be set by your yearly income minus yearly expenses. On June 16, the Judge accepted Pat Hundley's Income Tax Return, Bank Statements and Credit Card Statements (all notorized, stamped and sealed) and acknowledged the bail should be set according to the law. However, the judge did NOT set new bail based on the law, instead it was set for several times the expected amount per Section #250. The judge also gave no reason for the two million dollar amount. Once again, Pat Hundley was treated unfairly by the Costa Rican legal system. By contrast, Luis Milanes Tamayo, accused of fraud by taking $200 million from investors in 2002, has served just a single day in jail while his case drags through the courts in San José. Mr. Hundley should have been able to surrender his passport, post reasonable bail and wait for formal charges.
If Mr. Hundley had agreed to meet the demands of his business partner he would have been released from prison. That reads like the definition of extortion: pay the money or continue to suffer in prison. And the government of Costa Rica is a party to this.
Mr. Hundley could only get out of prison if he met his business partner's demands for money or by posting an unreasonable bail.
INNOCENT UNLESS PROVEN GUILTY