Judge: FBI informant to testify in Posada case
by Jay Weaver
March 30, 2007
Reprinted from The Miami Herald
A federal judge in Texas has denied the U.S. government's bid to block the testimony of an FBI informant in a pretrial hearing in the fraud case against Cuban exile militant Luis Posada Carriles.
Posada is charged with lying to authorities about how he sneaked into the country when he applied for naturalization to the United States. He has long maintained that he crossed the U.S. border with Mexico in March 2005 with a migrant smuggler's assistance, not by sea as alleged by prosecutors.
The 78-year-old former CIA operative is appealing his pretrial detention at a hearing Tuesdayin El Paso, Texas.
The indictment, filed in January, is built on a statement given to the FBI by an informant who said Posada entered the country on a shrimping boat called Santrina manned by Posada's benefactor, Miami real estate developer Santiago Alvarez. Among the others on board was the FBI informant, Gilberto Abascal.
Posada's attorney, Arturo Hernandez, subpoenaed Abascal to testify at the pretrial hearing. U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone denied the government's motion to quash the subpoena on Thursday, so Abascal will have to testify publicly for the first time.
''We're going to have a full-blown hearing,'' Hernandez said.
Posada's trial is set for May 11.