Cuba frees jailed Canadian businessman after serving 2 1/2 years of 9-year sentence

The Associated Press

FILE - In this May 24, 2013 file photo, Canadian businessman Sarkis Yacoubian goes to court for his corruption trial in Havana, Cuba. Yacoubian has returned to Canada after serving 2 1/2 years of a 9-year prison sentence in Cuba for corruption. He is president of Tri-Star Caribbean import company and was arrested in 2011 by Cuban authorities but only formally charged in April 2013 with bribery, tax evasion and "activities damaging to the economy." Yacoubian said Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 that he's extremely happy and excited to be home in Toronto. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)

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By CHARMAINE NORONHA, Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) — A Canadian businessman who served 2 1/2 years of a 9-year prison sentence in Cuba for corruption has returned to Canada.

Sarkis Yacoubian, president of Tri-Star Caribbean import company, said Saturday that he's extremely happy and excited to be home in Toronto. However, he says he is still adjusting after he was given only 24 to 48 hours' notice before his release.

Yacoubian was arrested in 2011 by Cuban authorities but only formally charged in April 2013 with bribery, tax evasion and "activities damaging to the economy."

Caitlin Workman, a spokeswoman with Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, confirmed that they were aware of his release, saying that he is home in Canada with his family.

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