Apr 8, 2011

Jury in El Paso acquits Posada Carriles on all counts

Reprinted with permission

Copyright(C)2011 WLM

UPDATE: Jury deliberated for about three hours before acquitting Luis Posada Carriles on all 11 counts after a 13-week trial.

Trial in Texas nears the end

By Kelly McKenzie
WLMJ (04/07/2011)

EL PASO, TEXAS  - Luis Posada Carriles appeared animated as government and defense lawyers made their closing statements to the jury today that will decide his fate in coming days.
 His trial began in U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone's courtroom nearly three months ago and only after countless motions and delays.
 It began with numerous news media organizations attending, and ended with half a dozen reporters at most on the last day before the case goes to the jurors.
 The protesters that dogged him before the trial, were gone too.
 Carriles, 83, walked down the halls of the federal courthouse during breaks. His view from the fifth floor allowed him to see the city's downtown each day.
 Across the border, in Juarez, Mexico, a raging war between drug cartels continued to claim lives each day. In contrast to its neighbor, El Paso enjoyed relative calm and safety.
 At times, the dapper former CIA operative wore sunglasses, and looked the part of the celebrity that he is. An unusual one at that.
 He is charged with 11 counts of making false statements, obstruction of justice and immigration-related violations
 The U.S. government decided to prosecute him following Posada's immigration hearing in El Paso.
 Posada is accused of lying about how he entered the United States illegally in 2005 and lying about his alleged role in 1997 bombings in Cuba that claimed the life of an Italian citizen.
 Posada denied all the allegations.
 Government documents, witnesses and other sources show that the Cuban native worked for the CIA during the Cold War era and tirelessly sought the demise of Fidel Castro.
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