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Sunday, February 13, 2011

2 tourists held in death of Canadian in Dominican Republic bar fight

A Canadian and an Algerian tourist are being detained in the Dominican Republic in the death of another Canadian following a fight outside a beach resort bar.

Prosecutor Mercedes Santana says the men face possible charges of voluntary homicide in the death of 19-year-old Jordan Morrison, of Barrie, Ont.

A judge decided Monday that there is enough evidence to hold them for at least three months while the case is investigated.

The detained men are Canadian citizen Dmytro Aref Yev and Algerian national Bouzid Redha. Both live in Montreal.

Police said Morrison died on the way to hospital after a severe beating outside a nightclub at a beach resort. The fight, which involved bottles, began over unspecified "personal differences."

The judge ordered three other Canadian tourists released on bail and ordered them to stay in the country, deciding they did not have a direct role in the fight.

The five are aged 19 to 21 and were treated for minor injuries after the fracas at the Grand Paradise Bavaro hotel in Punta Cana, about 200 kilometres east of Santo Domingo.

Defence lawyer Eloy Bello said the men were drunk at the time of the fight and did not intend to kill Morrison.
He said the fight apparently started when Morrison intervened in a fight between a woman and one of the other tourists.

Bello said the accused should face no more than the lesser charge of involuntary homicide because Morrison's death was an accident that occurred when he fell and struck his head on the ground during the fight.

Voluntary homicide carries a potential sentence of 30 years in prison in the Dominican Republic but the country's laws also allow for lengthy detention without bail while a case is under investigation.

The Dominican Tourism Ministry says some 630,000 Canadian tourists visit the country each year.

Source: Associated Press

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