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May 09,2007
Judge drops U.S. charges against Posada
by UPI

EL PASO, Texas - A federal judge in Texas dismissed charges Tuesday against Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban exile suspected of a 1976 airliner bombing.

Posada was scheduled to go on trial Friday in El Paso on immigration fraud charges. But U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone dismissed the charges and ordered his immediate release from electronic monitoring, CNN reported.

Cardone said an interview between immigration officials and Posada that led to his being charged with lying when he entered the country had been badly translated.

"As with each and every defendant who comes before this court, defendant in this case is entitled to certain rights under the United States Constitution," Cardone said. "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."

Both Cuba and Venezuela have asked for Posada's extradition, which has been refused on the grounds that he might be tortured in either country. Cuba has accused him of other activities, including attempts on the life of Fidel Castro.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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