Gerardo Hernandez, one of Cuba’s so-called Five on trial for espionage and conspiracy in 2001 for infiltrating anti-Castro groups in Miami to prevent terrorist acts against Cuba, has filed an appeal before the judiciary, arguing that the charge of conspiracy to commit murder must be dismissed because he was unaware of plans to shoot down two planes of Brothers to the Rescue anti-Castro organization.
The charge of conspiracy to commit murder focused on the shootdown by the Cuban government on February 24, 1996 in Havana insists it was Cuban airspace and that U.S. claims was an international area. His first defense lawyer Hernandez focused on where the demolition occurred, and that being in Cuban airspace was a justified act of defense, not murder. The new lawyers argue that Hernandez’s defense was the focal point because the focus should be the fact that no prior knowledge of plans to shoot down the planes you can not convict Hernandez of conspiracy to commit murder. The appeal argues that, therefore, Hernandez was denied the right to an effective defense and due process of law.
However, in presenting this appeal, in Miami was interpreted that Hernandez is the assumption that the planes were shot down over international waters and that this represents a break with the Cuban government. In fact, note the item in the Miami Herald was that the “spy” Cuban Hernandez gave a “stunning turnaround” with which it is “fundamentally contradict the position of the regime which has sworn allegiance and which has declared him as a hero modern revolution. ”
Hernandez was the only one of the five Cuban anti-terrorist cell accused of charges relating to the shootdown. He, along with others, was also prosecuted for being an agent of a foreign government without declaring it officially and conspiracy to commit espionage. If the court accepted his appeal is granted a new trial on the charge of conspiracy to commit murder. “The evidence does not support that Gary is guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. There is no evidence that Gary knew in advance the plans to shoot down the planes … Consequently, there is no evidence that he has conspired to make the shot down, “he told La Jornada lawyer Jose Pertierra who has closely followed the case of 5 from startup.
In fact, as pointed Pertierra, during the original trial, the prosecution itself asked to withdraw this charge for being so weak, but the judge refused. Around Miami suggestions that all this represents a break between Hernandez and Cuba, Pertierra said simply “no break” because it is the legal argument about the charge of conspiracy to commit murder.
Pertierra, whose offices are in Washington and represents the government of Venezuela in the extradition case of Luis Posada Carriles, said that “America knows full well that the five were in this country to defend Cuba against terrorism whose origin is Miami . Terrorism that has killed thousands of defenseless Cubans. One of the masterminds of terrorism against Cuba is Luis Posada Carriles, whom the United States on U.S. soil protection and impedes his extradition to Venezuela. However, the five are incarcerated with long and unjust sentences. Gerardo is not a murderer. He is a fighter against terrorism, who unjustly serving two life sentences in federal prison in California. Posada Carriles is the murderer. He flew a plane with 73 passengers in 1976 and freely walks the streets of Miami where some will pay tribute and celebrate it. ”
Pertierra said it’s time for President Barack Obama proceed toward normalization of relations with Cuba, including lifting the embargo. “A first step in that direction would be granted to the five executive clemency for them to return to Cuba, and to extradite Posada Carriles to Venezuela to face trial there for 73 counts of murder.”…