Breaking Legal News - POSTED: 2008/08/15 10:28
A federal appeals court on Thursday ordered Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles to stand trial in El Paso on immigration fraud charges.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that Posada, an 80-year-old anti-Castro militant, should stand trial on charges that he lied to federal authorities in his 2005 bid to become a U.S. citizen.
The criminal case against Posada had been dismissed last year when El Paso-based U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone ruled that the government engaged in trickery and deceit by using a naturalization interview to build a case against Posada.
Felipe Millan, one of Posada's lawyers in El Paso, said Posada's legal team was reviewing the decision and would decide on a course of action afterward.
In an e-mailed statement to The Associated Press, Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said, "We're pleased with the ruling and will proceed forward as appropriate."
The Cuban-born citizen of Venezuela is wanted in the South American country on charges that he orchestrated the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Posada was first arrested on a civil immigration violation in May 2005 after sneaking into the country from Mexico about two months earlier. Posada, a former CIA operative and U.S. Army officer, has claimed that he was brought across the border into Texas by a smuggler, but federal authorities have alleged that he actually sailed from Mexico to Florida.