REPORT No. 331/20 CASE 12.145 REPORT ON THE MERITS 19 November 2020 KEVIN DIAL AND ANDREW DOTTIN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO I. INTRODUCTION 1. On April 29, 1999, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (“the Commission”) received two petitions and requests for precautionary measures1 from Herbert-Smith LLP2 (“the petitioners”) against the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (the “State” or “Trinidad and Tobago”). The petitions were presented on behalf of Kevin Dial and Andrew Dottin (“the alleged victims”), two Trinidadian nationals who at that time were inmates on death row in that country’s State Prison.3 2. The Commission approved its admissibility report No. 83/11 on July 21, 2011 4 and on July 27, 2011, notified the report to the parties, placing itself at their disposition to reach a friendly settlement. The parties were allocated the time periods provided for in the IACHR’s Rules of Procedure to present additional observations on the merits of the case. All of the information received by the IACHR was duly transmitted to the parties. II. POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES A. Petitioners 3. The petitioners indicate that the alleged victims were tried and convicted as co-defendants for the murder of Junior Baptiste and sentenced to death on January 21, 1997 by the High Court of Justice of Trinidad and Tobago, pursuant to the country’s mandatory death penalty. The petitioners indicate that, in their defense, Messrs. Dial and Dottin alleged an alibi and testified that the lineup identification procedure at the Besson Street Police Station was flawed, and that the lack of fingerprint evidence or firearms ballistics testing diminished the credibility of Shawn Baptiste’s testimony. 4. According to the petitioners, the evidence against the alleged victims was fabricated by the police, and therefore, they were sentenced through a miscarriage of justice. In this regard, they allege that, on July 9, 1999, Shawn Baptiste swore an affidavit retracting the entirety of his deposition incriminating the defendants. The petitioners allege that since Shawn Baptiste’s testimony at trial was the sole basis for the alleged victims’ convictions, it is clear that the actions of the police perverted the course of justice. In addition, the petitioners informed the IACHR that, on October 15, 1999, Alicia Henry also swore an affidavit supporting the new evidence presented by Shawn Baptiste. In accordance with Article 25(1) of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure, on May 11, 1999, the Commission granted precautionary measures on behalf of Kevin Dial and Andrew Dottin and requested Trinidad and Tobago to stay their executions until a decision could be reached on the merits of the case. In light of the absence of any response from the State to its request for precautionary measures, the IACHR submitted a request for provisional measures in favor of the alleged victims to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (“the Inter-American Court”) on May 25, 1999. On May 27, 1999, the Inter-American Court amplified the provisional measures previously ordered in I/A Court H.R., Matter of James et. al., Provisional Measures regarding Trinidad and Tobago. Order of the Inter-American Court of April 3, 2009, para. 14 (later named Matter of Dottin et al.), to include the alleged victims. The Inter-American Court lifted the provisional measures on May 14, 2013, given the conmutation to life imprisonment of the alleged victims’ death sentences and the lack of information confirming the existence of a situation of extreme gravity and urgency and of risk of such persons suffering irreparable harm to their lives or personal integrity (I/A Court H.R., Matter of Dottin et al., Provisional Measures regarding Trinidad and Tobago. Order of the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights of May 14, 2013). 2 The petitions were originally presented by Slaughter and May. However, in a letter dated August 18, 1999, the IACHR was informed that effective September 1, 1999 Herbert Smith, LLP would represent Messrs. Dial and Dottin. 3 The Inter-American Commission decided to join the petitions into one single file since the beginning of this procedure, on May 11, 1999, because of the great similarity in the allegations of facts and law submitted by the same petitioners. 4 IACHR. Report No. 83/11. Petition P12.145. Admissibility. Kevin Dial and Andrew Dottin. Trinidad and Tobago. July 21, 2011. 1 1

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