Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Posada Carriles' lawyer: Warns of unfair trial

Lawyers for Luis Posada Carriles said Wednesday he can't receive a fair trial if he can't challenge the overall reliability of Cuba's judicial system.
Prosecutor Timothy Riordan III on Tuesday objected to defense lawyers' plans to condemn Cuba's handling of criminal and other cases going back 50 years.
The Miami Herald quoted Riordan as saying:
This is not the History Channel . . . The regime in Cuba is not the defendant in this case.
Defense lawyers filed a motion Wednesday explaining their need to present evidence about what they describe as Cuban authorities' tendency to distort and fabricate evidence for political reasons. They wrote:
...the type of evidence that the Defendant seeks to introduce is classic impeachment evidence. More specifically, the evidence is admissible under Rule 406 as well as potential 404(b), on the following six grounds:
  1. The evidence demonstrates the habit or routine of the Government of Cuba to fabricate evidence
  2. The evidence demonstrates the habit and routine of the Government of Cuba to influence the testimony of witnesses through unfair trials and violent acts
  3. The evidence demonstrates that the documentary evidence from the Government of Cuba is unreliable and inauthentic under Rule 902
  4. The evidence demonstrates the “motive, opportunity, intent, preparation and plan” of individual witnesses from various departments under the control of the Government of Cuba to fabricate evidence and create false documents as dictated by the Cuban communist regime
  5. The evidence demonstrates that the United States recognized that evidence from the Government of Cuba is unreliable and fabricated, that the Cuban judicial system unfairly convicts individuals with false and fabricated evidence and coerced testimony
  6. The Government of Cuba, through propaganda and official statements, as a habit and routine, disseminates false information and assertions both inside and outside Cuba.
U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone said Tuesday she was leaning toward rejecting the defense argument, but wanted to hear more from the defense.
Defense lawyers object to prosecutors' plans to call three witnesses from Cuba. Two are police officers and another is a medical examiner. They are expected to discuss Havana bombings linked to Posada Carriles.
The defense lawyers said:
Here, the Defendant seeks to admit evidence showing that the underlying motive, opportunity and plan of the witnesses from the Cuban State to falsely provide testimony and evidence identifying Luis Posada Carriles as having some involvement in the Havana bombings. The exclusion of evidence to show that the witnesses and officials producing the evidence have fabricated or falsified the evidence in other matters will deprive the defendant his right to confrontation and a fair trial.

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