Court Rules That Government Can't Hold Posada Until Trial

Tuesday, April 17th 2007, 6:04 pm
By: News On 6

EL PASO, Texas (AP) _ An appeals court on Tuesday denied the U.S. government's latest bid to keep anti-Castro Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles jailed until his May trial on immigration fraud charges.

The decision by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans reversed a decision last week to temporarily block Posada from being released from the Otero County, N.M., jail on $250,000 bond.

One of his lawyers said it was unclear when the 79-year-old former CIA operative could be set free. He will have to return to El Paso, where the criminal case is being heard, to refile paperwork guaranteeing his bond.

Rhonda A. Anderson, one of Posada's Florida lawyers, said Tuesday's decision, which ended the appeals case with the New Orleans court, ``would again be consistent that there is no proper issue on appeal.''

U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone had ordered Posada set free.

Dean Boyd, a Department of Justice spokesman, said his agency was evaluating its options.

The aging militant and former CIA operative was ordered deported in 2005. But a federal immigration judge in El Paso ruled that he could not be sent to Venezuela, where he is a naturalized citizen, or his native Cuba.

Governments of both countries want Posada extradited to Venezuela to face charges that he was in Caracas when he plotted the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner, an attack that killed 73 people.