Posted May 09, 2007 05:24 pm CDT
A federal judge dismissed all charges Tuesday against Luis Posada Carriles, speaking in scathing terms of the investigation and prosecution that put the Cuban exile and militant in jail on immigration fraud charges. That may not mean the end of all U.S. prosecution for the 79-year-old Posada, however, because he is currently under investigation in a terrorism case in New Jersey.
U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone, sitting in El Paso, Texas, said the immigration case against Posada resulted from a botched citizenship interview translation by an English-Spanish interpreter, and decried in a 38-page written opinion “fraud, deceit and trickery” on the government’s part in using the citizenship interview as a “pretext for a criminal investigation” to charge Posada, reports the Miami Herald. “The realm of this case is not, as some have suggested, terrorism,” wrote Cardone, who was appointed in 2003 by President George W. Bush. “It is immigration fraud.”
The Justice Department hasn’t said whether it will appeal her ruling, and Homeland Security authorities haven’t said whether they plan to take Posada, reportedly a former Central Intelligence Agency operative, into custody. He has previously been found by an immigration court to be in this country without proper paperwork. Meanwhile, a federal grand jury in Newark, N.J., is reportedly investigating a 1997 Cuban nightclub bombing in which Posada previously admitted a role to the New York Times. However, this was because his English is so bad that he misspoke, Posada later testified. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s role in the nightclub probe has been criticized by Cuban-American members of Congress.