Cuba jails 13 for mental patients' deaths

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HAVANA: A Havana court on Monday sentenced 13 hospital staff to jail for 5 to 15 years for the deaths of 26 psychiatric patients during a cold snap in January 2010, official ACN news agency reported.

Hospital director Wilfredo Castillo was given 15 years in prison, while the vice-director and senior dietetics specialist received 14 and 12 years, respectively. All were found guilty for the crime of abandonment of disabled and impaired people.



Three other people were accused and punished for abandoning people with disabilities under their protection, while seven others were sentenced for embezzlement of hospital funds, according to a press release. 

Administrative sanctions were imposed on other people partly responsible for the events.

Those receiving sentences have ten working days to file an appeal, reported the ACN news agency.

The deaths of the patients shocked the country last year when the precarious situation of Cuba's largest mental health hospital, which for decades was a symbol of Cuba's free universal health care, was exposed.

(BNO NEWS )

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