Canadian businessman on trial behind closed doors in Cuba, as government mum on proceedings


Canadian businessman Sarkis Yacoubian goes to court for his corruption trial in Havana, Cuba, Friday, May 24, 2013. The trial of Yacoubian, who was president of import company Tri-Star Caribbean which was shuttered in July 2011, is under way nearly two years after he was detained. President Raul Castro has repeatedly spoken of a need to root out entrenched corruption on this Communist-run island, and his anti-graft drive has swept up foreign business executives from at least five nations, as well as government officials and dozens of Cuban employees at key state-run companies. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)The Associated Press

Official silence is surrounding the trial of a Canadian businessman involved in a corruption probe in Cuba as the proceedings enter their second day.

Sarkis Yacoubian is a businessman who partnered with the Cuban government on several ventures. He reportedly has been charged with bribery, tax evasion and "activities damaging to the economy," and faces up to 12 years in prison.

Yacoubian was seen entering a Havana special courthouse on Friday, escorted by three apparent plainclothes security agents. The Canadian ambassador again arrived to observe the proceedings.

The Cuban government has not commented on Yacoubian's case, even to acknowledge that a trial has begun.

Cuba's judicial system is known for its speedy trials behind closed doors, affording no access to the media.