[Ppnews] Supreme court won't review 'Cuban 5' case
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jun 15 13:20:27 EDT 2009
High court won't review 'Cuban 5' espionage case
June 15, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) The Supreme Court on Monday
refused to review the convictions of five Cuban
intelligence agents who say they did not receive
a fair trial because of strong anti-Castro sentiment in Miami.
The justices left in place the convictions of the
so-called "Cuban Five," despite calls from Nobel
Prize winners and international legal groups to review the case.
The five Ruben Campa, Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo
Hernandez, Luis Medina and Antonio Guerrero
were convicted on charges of acting as
unregistered Cuban agents in the United States
and of espionage conspiracy for attempting to penetrate U.S. military bases.
Hernandez was also convicted of murder conspiracy
in the deaths of four Miami-based pilots whose
planes, part of the Brothers to the Rescue
organization, were shot down by Cuban fighter
jets in 1996 off the island's coast.
The five have been lionized as heroes in Cuba,
while exile groups say they were justly punished.
Ten Nobel Prize winners and lawyers and legal
groups from more than a dozen countries groups
urged the high court to step into the case.
The Obama administration contended that the
convictions were fairly won, and that high court review was unnecessary.
A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court
in Atlanta initially reversed the convictions,
agreeing with the defendants that the trial should have been moved from Miami.
But the full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the convictions.
Hernandez is serving a life sentence, while
Gonzalez is serving a prison term of 15 years.
The appeals court ordered new sentences for the
other three men, including two who originally were given life in prison.
The case is Campa v. U.S., 08-987.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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