Trial set for Cuban militant accused of lying
Feb. 15, 2007
Reprinted from Sarasota Herald-Tribune
EL PASO, Texas -- An anti-Castro Cuban militant accused of lying to immigration officials in a bid to become a U.S. citizen should stand trial in May, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone set May 11 for jury selection in the case against Luis Posada Carriles, who has been in U.S. immigration custody since May 2005 after surfacing in Miami.
Posada, a former CIA operative and U.S. Army soldier, is accused of lying about how he illegally entered the United States from Mexico in 2005 and several other details in interviews and on an application to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. According to a seven-count indictment handed down last month, Posada told investigators he paid a smuggler to drive him across the border into South Texas but really entered the country aboard a boat with several men he had denied seeing.
He is also accused of lying about using an alias.
Posada was arrested on a charge that he illegally entered the country. Since then, an immigration judge has ruled that he should be deported, but ordered that he could not be sent to Cuba, where he was born, or Venezuela, where he is a naturalized citizen.
Governments of both countries want Posada deported to Venezuela so he can stand trial on charges that he was in Caracas when he plotted the deadly 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner.
Posada has denied any wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty in the federal criminal case.