Monday, April 14, 2014

Document: Prosecutor "willing to work with" ex-hijacker

Prosecutor wanted to "resolve the issue"
Federal prosecutors in 1997 were prepared to recommend that ex-hijacker William Potts receive credit for time served in Cuba if he turned himself in to U.S. authorities, a diplomatic note shows. The document states:
In the case of Mr. Potts, the Interests Section has been advised by the Office of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida that there is an outstanding warrant for his arrest on the charge of air piracy. The Office of the U.S. Attorney says that it is willing to work with Mr. Potts to resolve the issue and to recommend that he be given credit for prison time he has served in Cuba. (See documents).
Federal sentencing guidelines in the United States call for a minimum mandatory of 20 years for air piracy. If prosecutors give Potts credit for 13 years, he could get a 7-year term. Other factors - whether he cooperates with authorities, for instance - could improve his chances of going free sooner.
Potts is being held at the Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale. His trial is set for April 28. He said he hopes that American authorities will not give him additional jail time. He has been in custody since surrendering to U.S. officials in November.

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