Venezuela to renew extradition request for anti-Castro militant

[JURIST] Venezuela will renew calls for the US to extradite anti-Castro Cuban exile and Venezuelan national Luis Posada Carriles [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] following a new indictment [court materials; WSJ report] ordering Posada to stand trial in Texas, Venezuelan lawyer Jose Pertierra said [AP report] Wednesday. Posada, who is wanted by both Venezuela and Cuba for his alleged involvement in the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airline [ASN backgrounder], was charged on April 8 in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas [official website] with 11 counts of perjury stemming from immigration interviews conducted in 2005. Venezuelan officials hope that the trial will reverse a prior US ruling refusing to extradite Posada to Venezuela or Cuba on concerns that he would face torture, with expectations that the Obama administration will be more receptive to extradition requests [JURIST reports]. Pertierra said that the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry [official website, in Spanish] will likely make its renewed extradition request before the Summit of the Americas begins Friday.

Venezuela and Cuba contend that the US is legally obligated to extradite Posada because it is bound by international treaties, including the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation [texts]. Posada is also suspected of involvement with narcoterrorism and a series of Cuban bombings in 1997 [Washington Post report]. Posada's immigration fraud charges were dismissed in 2007, but that decision was reversed by a 2008 ruling [JURIST reports] reinstating the indictment and ordering a trial. The trial, based on the superseding 11-count indictment, is set for August 10.

 

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