Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles was heard for a lengthy period for the first time at his trial Thursday, where he denied any responsibility for the bombs that hit Cuba in 1997 and claimed that he took a bus to Miami in 2005. The prosecution argued that these were lies, while the defense attorney claimed entrapment. Posada also claimed not to recall many things he had said before. He faces 11 charges of lying under oath to the two officials.
Posada was arrested in 2002 on charges of plotting to assassinate Fidel Castro during a visit to Panama but convicted of a lesser charge. He received a controversial presidential pardon in 2004. Here are excerpts with links to several related articles:
All lies, the prosecution argued, that the anti-Castro militant said under oath to U.S. immigration officials Susana Bolaños and Joellen Ardinger as they interviewed him in 2006 about his application for U.S. citizenship. U.S. immigration official Susana Bolaños was concerned when she read the application for citizenship filed by CIA-trained exile Luis Posada Carriles. [. . .] Among the red flags raised in that interview were: [. . .] when asked if he had ever advocated the overthrow of a government, Posada answered “Yes,” [and] in a question asking about criminal history, Posada noted a Panamanian conviction that put him in prison for four years.
[. . .] Defense attorney Arturo V. Hernandez, cross-examining Bolaños, challenged her in-court testimony and parts of the recording of her interview, the 283-page transcript of the recording and the translations between English and Spanish. Hernandez also pushed her to admit that she knew Posada had no right to citizenship but still put him under oath in order to gather evidence for a criminal case — the charges of perjury, obstruction and immigration fraud that he now faces. Bolaños denied she laid a trap and repeatedly insisted the two-day interview — the only one she could remember in which the applicant’s lawyer was barred from taking part — was a normal part of the immigration process. She acknowledged, however, that the recording and transcript contained errors, including a wrong date on its very first page. [. . .] Her acknowledgements did not conflict with the core of the charges against Posada: that he lied about his entry into the United States, about his involvement in the Cuba bombings and about having a Guatemalan passport. But Hernandez appeared to be trying to use them to cast overall doubt on the charges against the 82-year-old Posada, an explosives expert trained by the CIA and a suspect in a long list of violent plots against the Castro government. [. . .]
Prosecutors also allege the exile-owned yacht Santrina picked up Posada in Mexico’s Caribbean resort of Isla Mujeres and delivered him to Miami in March of 2005 — a version very different from the one he told Bolaños and Ardinger.
Posada replied that he had lied to Bardach about some things – “When it was convenient for me, I lied to her,” he said and never told her that he “orchestrated” the Cuba blasts. He claimed she “distorted” some of his comments. [. . .] Posada added that his interview with Bardach, who has written several books and articles about Cuba, was confusing because she spoke no Spanish and his English is not fluent.
“Right now there is an impression in this jury that this defendant was taken advantage of” when he testified at his asylum and naturalization hearings in 2005 and 2006, prosecutor Jerome Teresinski told U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone. Teresinski added that defense attorney Arturo V. Hernandez has portrayed Posada, 78 years old at the time of the interviews, as being overcome by the U.S. immigration officials who interviewed him under oath. “He could not function, and they ambushed.” [. . .] One section that Teresinski asked Cardone to allow him to bring into the trial involved a question on whether Posada had tried to assassinate Cuban ruler Fidel Castro during a 1994 visit to Colombia. Posada said he would not answer.
For full articles, see http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/01/21/2027127/prosecutor-accepts-posada-carriles.html, http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/01/20/2024531/luis-posada-carriles-trial-immigration.html, and http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/01/20/2026012/posada-denies-responsibility-for.html