US Government Suppresses Evidence in Case of Cuban Five

News from Cuba | Saturday, 1 October 2011

Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, one of the five Cuban antiterrorists unjustly imprisoned in the United States, has filed a Habeas Corpus petition, on the basis of new evidence.

But Gerardo, who was given the harsh sentence of double life plus 15 years, stands little chance of reducing his conviction due to the US government's obstinacy to suppress conclusive evidence that could tip the balance in Gerardo’s favour, even when there is a string of new facts pointing to the use of illegal practices during the trial of the five Cubans.

Richard Klugh, a member of the Cuban Five defense team, has criticized the US government’s reluctance to release satellite images of the February 24, 1996 incident, where Cuban exile-flown planes violating Cuba’s airspace were taken down by revolutionary air forces. A situation that leaves Gerardo’s lawyers with their hands tied.

In a recent conference, Cuban Parliament president Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada said that the US government continues to be uncooperative, and to stubbornly conceal the satellite images of the February 24 incident. Fifteen years ago, they wouldn’t let investigators from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have access to them. In addition, they refused to submit them to the court in Miami that prosecuted the Five and, ultimately, they also turned down Gerardo’s request for using the images as new evidence in his new trial.

It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out why Washington is making such efforts to keep these images from the public light; so much so that in their 123-page legal statement against Gerardo, they hardly dedicate a few lines to explain the incident.

Ricardo Alarcón, who attended the OACI meeting for Cuba in 1996, pointed out that US courts have no legal jurisdiction over what happened in 1996, since the planes were taken down outside of US airspace. Moreover, investigations conducted by OACI revealed an astoundingly surprising fact: US radar stations, having been notified in advance by the government, failed to either register the incident, or they distorted or destroyed the information. The only "evidence" US authorities had to offer was the testimony of a ship captain who "coincidently" happened to operate in Miami.

The US government never denied the existence nor denied being in possession of the satellite images; but has categorically opposed to make them public for over 15 years.

Why would the US government want to conceal these satellite images? Why would the US mainstream media continue to keep their silence on such an outrageous injustice?

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