Militant Cuban exile seeks trial delay

June 3, 2009 at 12:10 PM
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EL PASO, Texas, June 3 (UPI) -- Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles says he deserves more time to plan his defense against U.S. charges that he lied to immigration officials.

Posada, a one-time CIA operative now living in Miami, says the charges against him amount to terrorism accusations rather than the simple perjury and obstruction counts he has been hit with, necessitating more time to mount a defense, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

Posada faces an August trial in El Paso, Texas, on charges that he lied during a hearing to deport him, as well as at another hearing to become a naturalized American citizen. Prosecutors say he misled an immigration judge in 2005 when he was asked whether he had masterminded bombings at Havana's Copacabana Hotel and other tourist hotels in the 1990s.

"This case is anything but a simple perjury and obstruction case," Posada attorney Arturo Hernandez said in a filing pleading to delay the trial until early next year, the Herald reported.

The newspaper said Posada is being investigated by a New Jersey federal grand jury in connection with a series of 1997 tourist hotel attacks in which an Italian man was killed.

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