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Only Public Pressure Will Force the White House

These were the words of Jose Pertierra, lawyer representing Venezuela in the case against Luis Posada Carriles, referring to the possibility of trying him for terrorism and murder

May 9, 2007
Reprinted from Juventud Rebelde

«Public pressure, together with US legal obligations, will eventually force the White House to charge Posada Carriles with terrorism and murder, » said lawyer Jose Pertierra to Cubadebate.

Jose Pertierra is the lawyer representing Venezuela in the extradition case against terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, freed on May 8 after all charges were dropped against him by the federal court in El Paso, Texas.

Contacted by phone, the lawyer said «Venezuela is outraged», not only with Judge Kathleen Cardone’s decision, but even more with «the shameful fact that the United States has not started the extradition process, or tried Posada Carriles as the confessed murderer he is, or classified him as a terrorist. »

According to Pertierra, Judge Cardone had to analyze Luis Posada Carriles’ statements to immigration authorities when he was requesting naturalization, and when doing so realized the manipulation being conducted by federal authorities.

«Cardone reached what was a predictable conclusion. Posada Carriles, accused of having lied to authorities, had been fooled at the same time by the very immigration officials he was trying to fool. It seems to be a tongue twister, but what took place in that naturalization interview was a cynical competition between liars, » added Pertierra.

«What the judge tacitly said is that the government officials lied to Posada Carriles to accuse him of lying, and not for being a terrorist, » he said.

According to lawyer Jose Pertierra, the government knew that Posada Carriles would try to protect his accomplices Santiago Alvarez Fernandez-Magrinat and Osvaldo Mitat, to prevent them from being tried for helping him to illegally enter the US.

In the 38-page ruling handed down on May 8, Judge Kathleen Cardone described the government’s role as «inappropriate and illegal, » and said that US officials had committed «fraud, deceit and trickery. » She characterized those tactics as «so grossly shocking and so outrageous as to violate the universal sense of justice. As a result, this court is left with no choice but to dismiss the indictment. »

Judge Cardone recognized in her decision that «the determination of whether or not to classify an individual as a terrorist, lies within the sound discretion of the executive branch. It does not lie with this court. » She added that «This court will not set aside such rights nor overlook government misconduct because defendant is a political hot potato. This court's concern is not politics; it is the preservation of criminal justice. »

Lawyer Jose Pertierra said that the possibility of preventing the impunity for the terrorist is still in the hands of the White House. «If the court would have found Posada Carriles not guilty, the judicial process in El Paso would have finished already. But the court has not announced a verdict of guilt or innocence. Instead, they have rejected the charges due to a motion presented by the defence. The decision about the motion can be appealed. »

Moreover, the government can, and must, classify him as terrorist. «If they do this, Posada will go back to jail.»

Jose Pertierra said that the government «can also start to process the extradition request presented by Venezuela and try him in the United States for 73 first-degree homicide charges for the events on October 6, 1976 (the bombing of a Cuban airliner in route from Venezuela), as stipulated by several international agreements signed by the United States. If they desire, they could charge him with homicide and terrorism for the murder of Fabio Di Celmo (an Italian tourist killed in a hotel bombing in Havana) and the (other) bombings in Havana in 1997. »

In the opinion of lawyer Jose Pertierra, «the handling of this case, first as a simple immigration procedure and then as a judicial process for minor immigration infractions, was designed to prevent Posada Carriles from speaking out about his long career in the CIA during which he committed terrorist acts.»


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