Monday, September 17, 2012

Spy trial: "Perfect storm of prejudice"

Screenshot of conference. Source:
One hour. That's how much time Martin Garbus said he'd like before a federal judge to discuss U.S. government payments to journalists during the 2001 trial of five accused Cuban spies.
Garbus said on Monday that the payments tainted coverage of the spy case and made it impossible for the agents to get a fair trial.
Garbus, appearing at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C., told a video conference:
It's amazing that for so long something like this happened and was undiscovered.
Neither the judge nor the jury knew about the payments. And when the story broke, government officials denied paying journalists, said Garbus, who took part in a panel discussion that included supporters of the Cuban agents in Washington and Havana (Watch video conference on Justin TV).
The "propaganda program in Miami" contributed to a "perfect storm of prejudice," said José Pertierra, a lawyer who moderated the discussion.
All five of the agents were convicted. One has since been released and was given three years' parole, which he must serve in the United States.
The other four ex-agents remain in U.S. prisons.
Garbus said:
14 years of prison for these men. It's about time they were released.

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