Trial against officials who freed Posada Carriles begins

Campaign News | Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The Supreme Court of Panama began on Tuesday a trial against two Panamanian former government officials for abuse of authority in releasing international and self-confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles and three of his accomplices in 2004 after they were granted an anti-Constitutional pardon by former Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso.

The defendants are ex Justice Minister Arnulfo Escalona and ex Police Chief Carlos Barés, who held their posts during the administration of Moscoso (1999-2004).

Posada, Pedro Crispín Remón, Guillermo Novo Sampoll and Gaspar "Gasparito" Jiménez Escobedo were arrested in Panama on November 17, 2000, as they were planning to blow up the capital’s university amphitheater where Cuban President Fidel Castro, who was attending the Ibero-American Summit there, was supposed to speak.

The four terrorists were given sentences of up to eight years’ imprisonment, but they were pardoned months later by Moscoso after several interventions by high-ranking U.S. officials and US Congress members Lincoln and Mario Díaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

This past June, Panama's Supreme Court declared that pardon to be null and void.

The four terrorists are in Miami, where they are living under the protection of the government of George W. Bush.

Posada, Remón, Novo Sampoll and Jiménez are old collaborators of the US intelligence services and have participated in numerous acts of terrorism under the direction of the CIA in its dirty war against Cuba.

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