[Ppnews] Legal Battle for the Cuban 5 Continues

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Aug 24 22:35:47 EDT 2009

The Cuban Five's Defense Team Says the Battle for the Case Continues

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 21 (acn) The political battle 
for the release of the five Cuban antiterrorist 
fighters unfairly imprisoned in the US must go 
on, said in Havana members of the Cuban Five's defense team.

The lawyers gave a press conference in which they 
noted that they represent the juridical side of 
the fight for the release of the Cuban Five, the Granma newspaper reports.

Participating in the news conference were Joaquin 
Mendez, Leonard Weinglas and Phillip Robert 
Horowitzs, defense counsels of Fernando Gonzalez, 
Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez, respectively, 
as well as William Norris, Ramon Labañino's 
lawyer; Tom Goldstein, who headed the defense 
team before the Supreme Court; appeal specialist 
Richard Klugh; and Rafael Anglada, member of the defense team.

The jurists talked about Antonio Guerrero, Ramon 
Labañino and Fernando Gonzalez' process of 
re-sentence, set for October 13, for which the 
three inmates will be transferred to Miami.

Mendez pointed that, throughout his professional 
career, he has never had a case that had taken so 
long. "Since they were arrested until today, 11 
years later, there is not even a definition of the case," said the lawyer.

Norris hopes that the US government provides the 
defense team with the information needed to make 
an appropriate preparation for the re-sentence.

Goldstein said the judge should take into account 
the long term they have been in jail, the 
suffering of the two prisoners and their 
families, and also the recognition of the international community.

Meanwhile, Weinglass pointed out that the life 
imprisonments imposed on Antonio and Ramon could 
disappear, although he commented that he could 
not predict what the new sentences will be.

The lawyers said that Tony, Ramon, Fernando and 
Rene are concerned about Gerardo, who was 
sentenced to two life imprisonments, one of them 
for conspiracy to commit murder. Goldstein 
explained that the efforts that will be made will 
show that this charge is "totally absurd."

Mendez assured that within the arbitrariness and 
illegality of the case, the treatment Gerardo has 
received is the greatest injustice committed in the case of these five men.

Rene Gonzalez was not benefited by a re-sentence 
either. His lawyer, Phillip Robert Horowitz, said 
that his defendant is about to serve 15 long 
years in prison, where he has maintained, as well 
as the rest of the five Cuban prisoners, an excellent behavior.

Cuban Website Slams US’ Cruel Treatment of One of the Cuban Five

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 24 (acn) The US government is 
cruelly maltreating Gerardo Hernandez Cordelo, 
one of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters 
imprisoned in that country, according to a report 
posted on CubaDebate’s website.

Under the headline ¡Vaya manera de respetar el 
debido proceso! (What a way of respecting due 
process!), the article notes how the US 
administration deliberately chose the date to 
notify Gerardo’s wife, Adriana Perez, that she 
was denied, for the 10th time in 11 years, a visa 
to travel to the US to visit her husband in prison.

This year’s July 15th, the day of the 21st 
wedding anniversary of Gerardo and Adriana, she 
was informed by Washington's Interest Section in 
Havana that she was not allowed to enter the US.

Likewise, when the Supreme Court rejected the 
appeal to review the Cuban Five’s case that 
included Gerardo’s cause, the date for the 
announcement of such decision was also carefully 
chosen: June 4th, Gerardo’s birthday.

In a conversation with American journalist Saul 
Landau the Cuban prisoner said this treatment 
might be the way the FBI (Federal Bureau of 
Investigations) found to take revenge for his 
position of refusing to betray Cuba.

“Depriving me of the possibility of seeing my 
wife is part of the same process; the 
interrogations, the offers for us to sell 
ourselves to them (FBI), the months in solitary 
confinement. But the plans the FBI or the 
administration could have had did not work out.”

Adriana has been granted only one visa in 11 
years, during which she has periodically 
requested permission to enter the US. It turned 
out to be a bad joke from the Bush administration in 2002, reads the article.

“When she landed in the George Bush International 
Airport of Houston (Texas), she was welcomed by 
an FBI committee that took her fingerprints and 
interrogated her for 11 hours while depriving her 
from the right to have a lawyer or to request 
advice from her consular representation.”

  “Afterwards, the committee revoked the visa and 
sent the young woman back to Cuba without letting her speak to her husband.”

In 2005 the US administration made fun of her 
again by denying the visa on the grounds that she 
was considered a possible immigrant.

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