[News] Cuba 5 to get new trial!
News at freedomarchives.org
Tue Aug 9 13:56:26 EDT 2005
August 9, 2005
Breaking News! 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today for the Cuban
Five to get a new trial.
Below is an article from the U.K. Guardian
Cuban Five to Get New Trial
Tuesday August 9, 2005 6:16 PM
By JOHN PAIN
Associated Press Writer
MIAMI (AP) - A federal appeals court threw out the convictions and life
sentences of five accused Cuban spies Tuesday, ruling that they did not
receive a fair trial because of community prejudice and extensive
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta
ordered a new trial after agreeing with the arguments of defense attorneys
about the 2001 convictions. None of the jurors was Cuban, but the defense
argued that prejudice against Fidel Castro and his communist government
runs high in Miami.
Federal prosecutors had no immediate comment on the court's decision.
Also overturned was the murder conspiracy conviction of ringleader Gerardo
Hernandez. He was also convicted for his role in the deaths of four Cuban
exiles shot down by Cuban MiGs in international airspace in 1996, an event
that sparked widespread condemnation.
The five admit being Cuban agents, but said they were spying on terrorist
exile groups opposed to Castro, not the U.S. government. The defense said
the agents' primary mission was to thwart extremist exiles who supported
terrorism in Cuba, including a string of Havana bombings that killed one
tourist and injured 12 others in 1997.
The five were the only ones who went to trial after they were indicted in
1998 as part of the 14-member Wasp Network.
Cuba has made the five a cause celebre, featuring them on a Web site and
issuing a CD of one prisoner's jailhouse poetry set to music. Free the
Five committees were set up in several countries.
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