Friday, April 13, 2007

Justice Department blocks Posada Carriles release


World War 4 Report

Submitted by Bill Weinberg on Fri, 04/13/2007 - 04:37.

The US Justice Deparment on April 12 obtained an emergency order from Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans barring the imminent release of Cuban right-wing militant Luis Posada Carriles. The move came after Posada's family in Miami posted the balance of a $350,000 bond with the federal court in El Paso, where he faces trial on immigration fraud charges.

US District Judge Kathleen Cardone had rejected Justice Department efforts to reconsider her bond for Posada. She said in her order last week that Posada, "frail" and 79, was not a danger or a flight risk. Countered Justice Department attorney John F. DePue: "Posada Carriles' history demonstrates that there is a very real risk that he will flee if released." Posada's Miami attorney, Arturo Hernandez, responded in turn: "We are going to avail ourselves of every legal remedy to enforce his rights under the court's order."

Fidel Castro accused the American government of planning to free a "monster," according to a letter bearing the signature of the ailing leader. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez criticized the Bush administration for protecting Posada, "the father of this continent's terrorists."

Meanwhile, military intelligence agents raided the home of one of Posada's lawyers, Joaquin Chaffardet [El Universal, Caracas, April 12]. The lawyer's wife, Maria Teresa Rosas, told reporters the agents said they were searching for weapons, and accused them of planting C-4 explosives and potentially compromising documents.

The Venezuelan government has called Chaffardet an "accomplice" of Posada, saying it was grossly improper that his testimony at a hearing in Texas helped convince a US judge he could be tortured if returned to Venezuela. Chaffardet and Posada worked together in Venezuela's secret police in the 1970s. (Miami Herald, April 13)


Los Angeles Times Report

Release blocked for anti-Castro militant

Ruling comes as Luis Posada was set to be released on bond.

From the Associated Press

April 13, 2007

EL PASO — An appeals court Thursday blocked anti-Castro Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles' release from jail just as he began the process to be freed on $250,000 bond.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans issued the order after he had already been transferred from the Otero County, N.M., jail to the federal courthouse in El Paso to sign paperwork that would have freed him.

Posada, 79, was escorted back to New Mexico, wearing a red prison uniform and shackled at the waist and feet.

He was to be turned over to federal immigration officials because he has a pending order for his deportation, but he will remain in jail in New Mexico until at least Tuesday, the deadline for his attorneys to respond to the appeals court order, officials said.

Prosecutors filed the emergency motion Thursday in response to U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone's decision to deny the Justice Department's motion to keep him jailed.

Posada has been held since May 2005, when he was arrested on charges of entering the United States illegally.

A federal immigration judge ruled in 2005 that Posada must be deported, but said he could not be sent to his native Cuba or to Venezuela, where he is a naturalized citizen, because of fears that he could be tortured.

Authorities have not been able to find a country willing to take the former CIA operative and U.S. Army soldier.

Posada is wanted in Cuba and Venezuela on charges that he was in Caracas when he plotted the deadly 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner. Posada has denied involvement.

Posada's Miami lawyer, Arturo V. Hernandez, declined to comment. Posada's El Paso lawyer, Felipe D.J. Millan, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

In Havana, there was no immediate reaction from the communist-run government to the news that Posada's release had been blocked.

Ailing leader Fidel Castro earlier had accused the United States of planning to free a "monster," and political rallies have been held around the island since to protest his possible release.

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