The Judge Presiding Over the Case of the Terrorist Posada Carriles Reacts to His Legal Technicality – Español
By Jose Pertierra
Translation: Laura Boué and Machetera – Tlaxcala
Kathleen Cardone, the U.S. judge who dismissed the first case against the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, accusing the Government of having engaged in “fraud, deceit and trickery” in his immigration interview and who later took up the legal case against him once again, has just opened an interesting window in the litigation.
In an order dated January 21, 2010, Cardone has revealed part of the inner workings of the case that will be heard on March 1st in El Paso, Texas, and whose documentation has until now been kept under seal and the strictest secrecy.
The judge has just published a document which openly cites a motion by Posada’s attorney to disallow Count One in the new trial, which accuses him of having made false declarations when he denied asking other people to carry out a series of bombings in Cuba.
Cardone’s document reveals that Posada does not deny having participated in a conspiracy to explode bombs in Havana in 1997, one of which killed the young Italian Fabio Di Celmo in a bar at the Hotel Copacabana. But he does not accept guilt for the homicide either. His defense is a legal technicality that the judge, through this order, absolutely rejects.
Count One has to do with a question that an immigration official posed to Posada in 2005: “Are the comments true that you made (to a journalist) for an article in the New York Times in which you admitted soliciting other people to carry out these explosions?” Posada responded in the following manner: “I am saying that is not true.” The prosecutors suggest that this answer is false and constitute perjury. Posada alleges that the answer is literally correct, because the article in the New York Times and the tape recordings made by the journalist Ann Louise Bardach do not include the word “solicit.” Consequently, Posada repeats, his answer is literally correct.
The motion presented by Posada’s attorneys did not convince Judge Cardone, who unequivocally declared that the question by the immigration official is not dependent on the word “solicit.” “The sense of the questions that were asked of Posada is not dependent on the precise use of that word.” In other words, Posada knew very well that the immigration official who interviewed him in relation to his application for residency in 2005, wanted to know if Posada denied having been involved in the 1997 conspiracy for having exploded bombs in hotels and restaurants in Havana in that year.
The person who carried out the murder of Fabio Di Celmo is a Salvadoran named Rene Cruz Leon, who admitted having placed at least six bombs in Havana, including the one that killed the Italian tourist. Cruz Leon confessed his crimes, was tried in Cuban courts and in 1999 was sentenced to death. Currently he is a prisoner in the Guanajay prison in Cuba.
Cruz Leon says that the person who recruited him and gave him the explosives is a Salvadoran named Francisco Chavez Abarca, one of Posada Carriles employees in El Salvador. A 1997 Miami Herald investigation revealed that Luis Posada Carriles recruited Chavez Abarca for a terrorist campaign against Cuba and that he in turn recruited Cruz Leon, who says he was promised $2,000 for every bomb that was set off in Havana. After Cruz Leon was arrested, Posada Carriles said, “He’s not a Cuban. He did it for money.”
Another of the material authors of the terrorism against Cuba in 1997 is the Salvadoran Otto Rodriguez Llerena, also openly linked with Luis Posada Carriles, who operated under the name of Ignacio Medina. He admitted that he’d been promised $1,000 for each C-4 bomb detonated. “My mistake was in letting Posada Carriles use me,” Rodriguez Llerena told the Miami Herald journalist Jim DeFede in 2005.
Posada Carriles’ defense argument oscillates between a technicality relative to the use of the word “solicit,” and the fact that everything the terrorist did prior to that in Latin America was done in the name of his employer, the CIA.
The Federal court in El Paso is not falling for the legal technicality, and it has not allowed him to use the CIA’s name in his defense. But “those who will make the decision about his innocence or guilt are, nevertheless, the jury,” Judge Cardone concluded in her order.
It’s worth recalling that the trial against Posada is not for murder in relation to the killing of Fabio Di Celmo. Nor is it about the terrorist campaign against Cuba in 1997, nor about the mid-air explosion of a plane full of passengers on October, 1976, for which there is an abundance of proof of Posada’s participation as its intellectual author. The prosecutor is charging him with having lied to U.S. government officials during the immigration process undertaken by Posada upon arriving in the United States, illegally, aboard the Santrina yacht in March of 2005.
He is strictly being judged as a liar in order to give the impression that “something is being done” against terrorism. Meanwhile, the extradition request presented by Venezuela on June 15, 2005 remains pending. Until now President Obama has paid it no attention, just like President George W. Bush.
Laura Boué and Machetera are members of Tlaxcala, the international network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the author and translators are cited.