Sunday, January 9, 2011

Luis Posada Carriles: Selected court documents

From federal court files:
Question: Have you EVER advocated the overthrow of any government by force or violence?
Posada Carriles: Many times

Federal authorities filed an indictment against Luis Posada Carriles on Jan. 11, 2007, accusing the anti-Castro militant of immigration fraud, perjury and other offenses. More than half the court filings made in the case since then are sealed, according to this 63-page docket report.
In the spirit of openness and transparency, I am posting here a selection of documents I retrieved from the U.S. District Court in El Paso, Texas.
Some of the documents are crucial to the case. Others are less important, but contain interesting details - for instance, a debate over whether transcripts ought to note whether Posada Carriles laughed or giggled during an interview.
Jury selection in Posada Carriles' trial begins Jan. 10. The trial is expected to start Jan. 11. Federal authorities accuse the defendant of immigration fraud, perjury and other charges.
If convicted on immigration fraud alone, Posada Carriles could get up to 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. His lawyer has argued that he should not get any more than six months in jail and may not even have to serve time, under federal guidelines.
The defendant turns 83 on Feb. 15.
Documents filed in his case are below:
  • 2007 indictment - the charges against Posada Carriles
  • 2009 indictment - a new indictment after the 2007 case was thrown out
  • A key document in the perjury trial showing specific instances where prosecutors say Posada Carriles lied
  • 2007 arrest warrant
  • Prosecutors' request that references to Posada Carriles' CIA past be thrown out
  • Posada Carriles' immigration application. One question asks: "Have you EVER advocated the overthrow of any government by force or violence?" Posada Carriles' answer: "Many times."
  • Posada Carriles' family photos and marriage license
  • Letters from people who support Posada Carriles. Supporters include Tomas Regalado, a Miami city commissioner.
  • Documents on Posada Carriles' military record
  • An unclassified summary of Posada Carriles' work with the CIA
  • Appearance bond in amount of $100,000
  • Appearance bond in amount of $250,000
  • A South Florida building offered as collateral to support defense request that Posada Carriles remain free on bond
  • 2007 government brief saying prosecutors would need "three to four full days" to present their case. The amount of time they'll need has since expanded to weeks, not days
  • 2007 document discussing intent to "hide" jurors as they move in and out of the court building so that they won't have contact with protesters. Posada Carriles' lawyer said:
  • ...we have information that there will be protestors during the jury selection procedure. I recalled at -- the last time we were here we did have protestors. And the Court I think, intelligently changed the date or did not publish the date. I don't remember exactly. But we played around with the date of when jury selection was going to take place pretty much to a hide the football kind of thing so we could get the jurors in and out.
  • Prosecutors' recommendation for handling of non-classified, but sensitive materials
  • Aug. 25, 2009 judge's order on handling of non-classified, but sensitive materials, including transcripts of interviews with Posada Carriles. It's a complicated order, but generally, the judge determined the prosecution can keep these materials sealed and the defense can disclose them when necessary for case preparation.
  • Miami Herald and Associated Press motion to intervene in case
  • Government accuses Miami Herald and the Associated Press of requesting sneak preview of sensitive documents, and rejects the supposed proposition
  • Miami Herald and Associated Press reply, saying prosecutors "misstate" the law and "mischaracterize" the facts
  • Motion to quash trial subpoena by Ann Louise Bardach, a journalist who interviewed Posada Carriles and is expected to testify in the case.
  • A list of tapes and exhibits the government plans to use in the trial
  • Statement by Peter Brennan, head of the State Department's Cuban Affairs office, who said Cuban officials would not make available to witnesses who have implicated Posada Carriles in acts of sabotage.
  • Defense statement saying Posada Carriles' past relationship with CIA is relevant to case
  • Defense exhibits, which include intent to use James A. Griffin as an expert witness. He is a consultant to CSI: Miami, on forensic audio and video issues.
  • Defense argument saying that if Posada Carriles lied during naturalization interview, consideration ought to be given to whether his statements are material to the case.
  • Prosecution argument on issue of materiality of his statements
  • Parties agree to redact - or remove - 63 parenthetical notations in interview transcripts. On some points there was disagreement. For example:
  • The words “[laughter]” “[giggles]” and “[chuckles]” appear repeatedly throughout the transcript. The United States proposes to retain these references, and would be amenable to using one uniform term throughout the transcript to reference laughter (e.g., the word “laughter” would be used in every instance, and would replace the words “giggles” and “chuckles” when they are used). The defendant objects to the inclusion of any words describing laughter, including the length of the laughter.
  • A defense motion requesting a delay in the trial because lawyers say the government belatedly introduced hundreds of pages of documents
  • Government list of new evidence - documents - that defense protested
  • The defense response to the government on the issue of belated introduction of evidence
  • Prosecution gives more detail on why material from Cuba should be admitted
  • Judge's denial of motion to continue
  • Defense motion to throw out evidence from Cuba
  • Government's December 2010 request
  • A January 2007 document showing that Posada Carriles wanted to negotiate with the government and end the case early on.
  • Defense motion to exclude FBI's forensic examination of blasting caps and explosives used in Havana bombing
  • FBI's forensic report on Havana bombing material
  • Defense document on jury selection procedures
  • Letters discussing lawyers' travel to Cuba to interview witnesses
  • Judge's order saying certain government evidence needed to be sealed to protect national security
  • FBI interview with Otto Rene Rodriguez, accused of planting bombs in Havana
  • November 2010 defense witness list
  • Government request placing conditions on defendant's pre-trial release
  • Transcript of immigration interview in which Posada Carriles claimed that journalist Ann Louise Bardach illegally recorded parts of their interview and conducted it in a language he does not know - English. He also denied hiring anyone to plant bombs in Havana.
  • A defense motion asking to throw out Posada Carriles' naturalization interview
  • A document giving details on defense criticisms of translation of naturalization interview
  • A court interpreter's statement saying transcripts and tapes of Posada Carriles' naturalization interview was unreliable
  • June 1, 2001 transcript of closing arguments in Brothers to the Rescue case. Posada Carriles' lawyers argued that the testimony showed that Cuban authorities make up and falsify evidence.
  • Posada Carriles' lawyers motion contending that evidence obtained in Cuba is tainted.
  • Posada Carriles' motion further explains need to present evidence calling into question Cuba's judicial system.
  • Bardach motion discussing a painting she received from Posada Carriles
  • Bardach subpoena for gifts she received Posada Carriles
  • August 2006 letter from Raymond Adams, chief of the El Paso District Office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to Posada Carriles, denying his application for naturalization 
  • Maria Elvira Salazar's 2008 interview with Posada Carriles
  • 2006 naturalization interview with Posada Carriles
  •  A Jan. 12 motion explaining defense lawyers' need to present evidence about what they describe as Cuban authorities' tendency to distort and fabricate evidence for political reasons.
  •  A Jan. 12 motion in which lawyer Thomas Julin argues that author Ann Louise Bardach should be allowed to submit photos of a painting that Posada Carriles gave her rather than haul it to court from her home in California.
  •  A 2007 decision in which Judge Kathleen Cardone said she was more concerned with justice than political hot potatoes.
  • An August 2006 letter to Posada Carriles denying his application for naturalization.
  • A Jan. 25 government motion asking Kathleen Cardone to reconsider her ruling throwing out the testimony of Gilberto Abascal, the prosecution's star witness against Luis Posada Carriles.
  • An eight-page government motion saying that lawyers for Posada Carriles are painting an incomplete and misleading picture of Gilberto Abascal.

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