Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lawyer: Continued imprisonment of Alan Gross is "a travesty"

Peter J. Kahn, a lawyer for Alan P. Gross, today released the following statement:
Alan's incarceration for a year without clarity of the legal process he will face or its timing is a travesty. It violates every international standard of justice and due process. We continue to urge the Cuban authorities to release Alan immediately based on humanitarian grounds, as well as the fact that he has already served one year in a Cuban prison.
Alan has suffered tremendously while incarcerated. He has lost almost 90 pounds and his health has deteriorated significantly. He has had to endure the irreparable pain of being an absent father to his 26-year old daughter, who is fighting breast cancer, and being away from his family for an entire year.
Cuban authorities arrested Gross in Havana on Dec. 3, 2009. His family says he was in Cuba doing international community development work and helping Cuban Jews gain access to the Internet.
His lawyer, based in Washington, D.C., has experience trying to resolve international disputes.

Here is Kahn's bio:
Peter Kahn has a diverse complex civil and criminal litigation practice in which he appears on behalf of clients in federal and state courts across the country, at both the trial and appellate levels, as well as in arbitrations and before federal agencies and on Capitol Hill. In his more than 30 years in practice, Mr. Kahn has represented a wide variety of clients, both corporate and individual, from large financial institutions to law firms, from clients involved in gaming to individuals involved in will contests, from clients who are the subject of grand jury and inspector general investigations to business executives involved in employment disputes. The cases he has handled cover a wide range of subject matters including, but not limited to, internal corporate investigations, fraud, RICO, tax evasion, medical and legal malpractice, employment issues, election law violations, personal injury, antitrust, government contracts, theft of trade secrets, and breach of contract.
Although Mr. Kahn purposefully has not specialized or limited his practice, he has spent considerable time focused on litigation involving international disputes. Mr. Kahn has had extensive experience in such matters, both before United States and foreign tribunals. Starting with his representation of the Israelis in the Pollard spy case, Mr. Kahn has handled numerous cases for American clients with interests in Israel, and for Israeli clients with matters pending in the United States, including, among others, the family of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. His international practice involves both civil and criminal matters including extradition and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases, as well as business disputes and immigration litigation. His cases have involved numerous foreign countries in addition to Israel, including among others Italy, Switzerland, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, Thailand, Bolivia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Bulgaria, France, the United Kingdom, Ecuador, Colombia, Denmark, Russia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and the former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Kahn joined Williams & Connolly LLP in 1976. He has been a partner since 1985. He currently serves as a member of Duke University’s Board of Trustees and Duke Law School’s Board of Visitors, which he chaired from 2001-2007.


John McAuliff said...

I am not sure what implication to draw from the fact that the lawyer speaking for Alan Gross also has been involved in the Pollard spy case. Does he also maintain Pollard was innocent and similarly condemn the US for refusing to release him?

While I agree that Alan should be released immediately on humanitarian grounds, that would be easier is Mr. Kahn spoke honestly about what his client was doing and expressed remorse as Judy Gross did in a Reuters interview.

Regardless of his feelings about Cuban jurisprudence, it is apparent that Alan violated three well established laws or regulations:

1) Undertaking a project in Cuba funded by USAID's democracy program.

2) Entering Cuba five times on a tourist visa for a non-tourist purpose.

3) Distributing unauthorized and presumably undeclared high tech satellite communications equipment
(see Tracey's post and my comment at )

AP is running a story today in which leaders of the two primary Jewish organizations in Cuba say they had no relationship with Alan.

I don't believe that Alan is a professional spy, but it does appear that he was naively ensnared in a Bush era USAID destabilization program under contract with Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI).

Mr. Kahn should direct some of his anger at DAI and USAID for sending Alan into harms way and doing nothing serious to help him.

Regardless of his motives, Alan was a paid agent of a hostile foreign power. The US is not gentle with such people arrested here, for example the Cuban Five.

I posted on this topic a few days ago here

John McAuliff
Fund for Reconciliation and Development

Shira said...

dude. good point. i'm going to stay apolitical but maybe DAI or USAID can help pitch in for my medical expenses.

~ Shira...I mean unidentified blogger