Barring some unforeseen delay or last-minute stall, alleged terrorist Luis Posada Carriles will finally get his day in court a week from today in an El Paso, Texas, courtroom.
But he won’t be facing terrorism charges… at least not directly.
Posada, 82—a Cuban-exile militant with a rap sheet that stretches back to 1961 and includes allegations he masterminded blowing a Cuban passenger plane out of mid-air in 1976—is officially charged with lying to immigration authorities when he entered the United States in 2005.
It’s what Posada is accused of lying about that makes this court case so interesting.
American authorities say he lied when immigration officials asked whether he was involved in a 1997 terrorist hotel bombing campaign against Cuba that killed an Italian-Canadian businessman and injured dozens of others. Though Posada had publicly boasted of his role on previous occasions, he denied any connection during his immigration interview.
Among the evidence American prosecutors plan to introduce at Posada’s trial are reports prepared by Cuban State Security that document Posada’s connections to the bombing campaign. A number of Cuban officials are also expected to testify, as will journalist Ann Bardach whose 1998 interview with Posada included his claims he’d been behind the plot.
I’ll be in El Paso next week to provide coverage of the beginning of the case as well as a “People’s Tribunal on Posada’s Crimes,” which is scheduled to take place in El Paso the day before the trial opens.
- The indictment against Posada
- Posada’s long and winding road to justice
- Posada’s selected “rap” sheet
- An example of Cuba’s wiretap evidence against Posada
- Ann Bardach’s testimony to a U.S. Congressional committee on her investigations into Luis Posada