Luis Posada Carriles. Source of cartoon: Watching America.
U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone ruled Monday that Luis Posada Carriles may discuss unclassified information related to his past employment with the CIA.
That's a defeat for prosecutors, who had argued that Posada Carriles' CIA ties were irrelevant to his case.
But Cardone said Posada Carriles must refrain from disclosing classified information, which is what prosecutors wanted, according to the judge's ruling.
Posada Carriles is scheduled to go to trial on March 1 in El Paso. He's charged with perjury, obstruction and other crimes.
Prosecutors say Posada Carriles can't disclose classified information because that would violate the Classified Information Procedures Act, or CIPA.
Under CIPA rules, defendants can't cause classified information to be disclosed at trial unless they give prosecutors and the court 30 days' notice in writing. Posada Carriles' hasn't done that, Cardone said, so he can't disclose any secrets.
That means Posada Carriles either didn't notify anyone because he never intended to disclose secrets, or he and his lawyers didn't know about the 30-day rule.
Whatever the case, it's kind of peculiar that disclosure of classified information would be hung up on that kind of a technicality and not some more substantial issue.
The judge's decision to allow Posada Carriles to discuss his past employment with the CIA is a good one. His CIA connections are absolutely relevant to the case. Posada Carriles used aliases for years as he traveled from one country to another. He's charged in this case with lying to immigration officers. Jurors should be allowed to consider whether his CIA past influenced his state of mind.
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