US Government seeks to keep documents in Posada Carriles case confidential

News from Cuba | Monday, 31 August 2009

The Miami Herald reported on 26 Auguest that the US government will be able to keep some documents in the case of anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles confidential, but will have to make their case to a court in Texas to keep any more evidence private. Posada Carriles, 81, is being charged with immigration fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice after sneaking into the United States in 2005.

The U.S. government made the request in June citing information relevant to national security. The Miami Herald and the Associated Press filed a motion to have full access to documents related to the case, which was partially granted by the court; the two items that will remain private are tapes and transcriptions of a 1998 interview with Posada by reporter Ann Louise Bardach, and the medical records of third parties.

Arturo Hernandez, the principle lawyer for the defense, said that he is in total disagreement with the court's decision to regulate what remains confidential, but that his main focus was protecting the interviews from 1998 which was successful.

In the interview, Posada Carriles takes credit for acts of terrorism in Cuba, including a string of hotel bombings in 1997. Other documents in question are FBI reports and classified materials about Posada's time as an agent with the CIA.

Carriles is wanted in Cuba and Venezuela to face trial for the bombing of a Cuban airline in 1976 which killed 73 people. He escaped prison while serving a sentence for this crime in Venezuela in 1986, and received a pardon from the outgoing Panamanian President in 2004, after serving 4 years in a Panamanian jail for attempting to plant a bomb in a conference centre in Panama to blow up Cuban President Fidel Castro.

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