San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

U.S. Judge Rules Against Posada Extradition

EL PASO, Texas (EFE) – A U.S. immigration judge ruled that anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles may not be deported to Cuba or Venezuela, citing the U.N. Convention Against Torture as a basis for the ruling.Immigration Judge William Lee Abbott drafted the decision Sept. 26, stating that Posada, 77, would remain in U.S. custody as authorities considered how to proceed.Posada stands accused by Venezuela and Cuba of several acts of terrorism, including the 1976 bombing of a Cubana de Aviación passenger jet. Among the 73 people who died were many members of the Cuban fencing team. The jet had taken off from Caracas.The militant is also accused of a series of 1997 bombings of Havana hotels in which an Italian tourist was killed. The Venezuelan government wants the United States to extradite Posada so he can face trial in Caracas. Venezuelan courts acquitted him twice for the jetliner bombing, but in 1985 he escaped from prison there while awaiting a prosecutor’s appeal for a new trial.Posada’s Miami arrest on May 17 came just as he was planning to leave the country, after having unlawfully entered the United States from Mexico.He was arrested in Panama in November 2000 after Cuban President Fidel Castro complained that Posada and several other Cuban exiles were planning to assassinate him at the Ibero-American Summit in Panama City.In 2004, a Panama court sentenced him to seven years in prison for crimes against collective security, but the judge threw out the charges of conspiracy to commit a crime and possession of explosives.Last August, Posada was pardoned by outgoing President Mireya Moscoso – a decision that led to a temporary freeze in diplomatic relations between Panama and Cuba.

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