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Dominican Republic Official Says Danny Almonte is 14

Aired August 31, 2001 - 11:51   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We've got some breaking news coming in. We want to take you now to a press conference where some Dominican authorities are explaining their decision about Danny Almonte, the Little Leaguer.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): ... Danny de Jesus Almonte Rojas has two birth certificates, as well as his brother Juan de Jesus Almonte Rojas, who is in a similar situation.

In the case of the child, Danny de Jesus, it was possible to determine in the investigation that he was born seventh of April of 1987 in Moca municipality, and this birth is in the registry of births in book number 267, page 144, certificate number 940-44. And this gives it the category of a late declaration of -- but this child is also registered as having been born in the civil registry of Jamao Norte on the March 21 of the year 2000. And the record says that the child was born on April 7, 1989, which Cecilia Lopez (ph) registered in book number four, page 54, certificate 54 of the year 2000.

This last tardy declaration was carried out with a certificate with the second vice mayor, which both the parents of Danny Almonte as well as him resided in the neighborhood of La Laguna and Boca de Jamao, statements which have shown to be false. And the functionary of the civil registry accepted a sworn statement, signed by two persons, one of whom lives across the street who said that they did not know the parents of said child; and the other person who was claimed to have sign this statement also claimed not to have known this statement.

Since the investigation had to involve the other child, Juan de Jesus, it was determined that he had two birth certificates. The first at the time, and one later. Both, as in the previous case, made by their parents. One in Moca in 1985; which is in book number 403, page 75, certificate number 872 of the year 1985. And the second in the civil registry of Juan Almonte book four, page 53, certificate number 53 of the year 2000.

For all these reasons, the central election board, under orders of its presidents has taken the following decisions. First, to proceed through the judicial means to declare the nullity of the second birth certificates, due to their manifest irregularity. Second, to present before criminal justice Felipe de Jesus Almonte for having incurred an alleged falseness; for having declared falsely, and extending this case to any other person who may have been involved. And third, to suspend provisionally, the functionary of the civil registry of the municipality involved until it can be determined judicially if she acted with bad intentions in the case.

I wanted to add...

HARRIS: Folks, to sum up here, this official in the Dominican Republic has just confirmed that after their investigation there they have determined that Danny Almonte, the Little League pitcher from that team in the Bronx that just, like a whirlwind, went through the Little League World Series -- they have determined that he was 14 years old and not 12, as his family had been alleging.

They say there have been -- there were a number of irregularities found in the records there, and that as a result of that there will be criminal charges levied against his father. We'll continue to follow this story; lots of developments there.

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