Anti-Castro Militant Wanted By Cuba Free From U.S. Custody

Thursday, April 19th 2007, 1:14 pm
By: News On 6

EL PASO, Texas (AP) _ Anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles, an aging ex-CIA operative suspected in a decades-old airliner bombing, was released from U.S. custody Thursday pending his trial on charges of immigration fraud, his lawyer said.

Posada posted bond at a New Mexico jail and is en route to his wife's house in Miami, said his lawyer, Felipe D.J. Millan.

Millan said immigration authorities were not detaining Posada, though there is an outstanding order of deportation.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman in El Paso didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

Posada, 79, is to go on trial May 11 on allegations that he lied to immigration authorities while trying to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. Earlier this week, an appeals court in New Orleans rejected the federal government's bid to keep Posada jailed until his trial.

Posada is wanted in his native Cuba and in Venezuela, where he is accused of plotting the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner that killed 73 people. A judge ruled that he couldn't be deported to those countries because he might be tortured, and no other country has agreed to take him.

Posada has been jailed since March 2005, when he was caught in Miami and sent to El Paso to face immigration charges.