Expat investor Sheldon Haseltine has taken to YouTube to air in public his 14-year battle to keep his Pacific coast property.
Haseltine and his lawyer Horacio Mejias Portuquez, face another criminal hearing March 27 in Puntarenas on the allegation that they forged documents. A judge threw out the charge in an earlier hearing, and the public prosecutor agreed, But an appeals court annulled that decision and ordered that the case be heard again.
The fraud allegation, which Haseltine says is groundless, is the latest in continual legal battles. The case began when squatters took over property he owns near Los Sueños on the central Pacific coast. These possession rights were sold to well-known Costa Ricans.
“Can you imagine that the law intended to help poor, poor peasants is being used by rich millionaires to rip off landowners.” Haseltine says at the start of his seven-minute, 14-second video. The video has already had 1,830 views, according to YouTube.
Haseltine said that he avoided legal complications in the video by taking much of his information from the Spanish-language newspapers.
His strategy is an unusual one that is likely to anger some judges and certainly the individuals named in the video.
Haseltine already has been convicted of assaulting with a weapon in a case he said where the judge would not allow contradictory testimony by witnesses to be presented.
The video already has been generating comments from expats and some English-speaking Costa Ricans. One suggested that the video be translated into Spanish.