Breaking News – Judge drops charges against Posada (Updated)

From the Miami Herald:

Judge drops charges against Posada
A federal judge issued a stunning decision Tuesday when she dismissed the immigration fraud charges against Luis Posada Carriles, the Cuban exile militant who was facing trial starting Friday in El Paso, Texas.
U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone issued a lengthy written order scrapping the indictment that accused Posada, 79, of lying to immigration officials about how he sneaked into the country in March 2005.
U.S. officials were caught off guard by Cardone’s ruling, saying the Bush administration was just now beginning to weigh its options.
”We are reviewing the decision,” said Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman in Washington when asked if the government planned to appeal.
Immigration authorities would not say whether they plan to take Posada into custody again.
”We have been notified of the indictment being dismissed, and we’ll take appropriate action,” said Marc Raimondi, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Posada was in El Paso with his lawyer, Arturo Hernandez, celebrating the surprise move by the Bush-appointed judge.
Last month she had granted Posada a $350,000 bond that allowed him to stay with his wife, Nieves, at her West Kendall apartment under 24-hour house arrest. He’s scheduled to return to Miami Wednesday, Hernandez’s office said.

Update: Via The Real Cuba, here’s the judges ruling (pdf).
Update 2: For those who don’t have the time to read the entire ruling, I’ve posted what I believe are the pertinent remarks leading to the judges’ conclusion below. I’m not an attorney so all you lawyers out there please feel free to weigh in.

This Court finds that the Government engaged in fraud, deceit, and trickery when it misrepresented to Defendant that the purpose of asking him such extensive questions about his means of entry into the United States, his conduct in Panama and Venezuela, and his use of various aliases and passports was merely to “clarify the record.” The Court ponders exactly which record the Government sought to clarify. The Government did not merely ask him questions directed towards a moral character determination. They questioned him extensively about bombings and other violent activities. The mere fact that they had to question him about bombings belies the argument that this was a routine naturalization interview.
Furthermore, throughout the interview, Millan attempted to advise Defendant to exercise his Fifth Amendment rights, yet invariably Bolanos, Ardinger, or Perry would retort “this is just for purposes of the record.” In addition to engaging in fraud, deceit, and trickery, this Court finds the Government’s tactics in this case are so grossly shocking and so outrageous as to violate the universal sense of justice. As a result, this Court is left with no choice but to dismiss the indictment.
The realm of this case is not, as some have suggested, terrorism. It is immigration fraud. Terrorism, and the determination of whether or not to classify an individual as a terrorist, lies within the sound discretion of the executive branch. It does not lie with this Court.
In 2006, the Western District of Texas saw 2,441 new criminal cases filed, a great number of which involve immigration charges. This Court, in particular, has been noted as having one of the heaviest criminal immigration dockets in the entire nation. As such, the issues with which this Court is currently faced are ordinary, not extraordinary. The Court routinely presides over trials and formulates sentences for defendants facing the same charges as those faced by the Defendant in this case. For example, a typical defendant convicted of all seven counts with which Defendant is currently charged would receive a maximum sentence of six to twelve months under the United States Sentencing Guidelines. In addition, any time that such defendant served in federal incarceration would more likely than not qualify such defendant for time served, or at the very least probation.
As with each and every defendant who comes before this Court, Defendant in this case is entitled to certain rights under the United States Constitution. This Court will not set aside such rights nor overlook Government misconduct because Defendant is a political hot potato. This Court’s concern is not politics; it is the preservation of criminal justice.
For the reasons set forth above, Defendant’s Motion to Exclude Tapes and Transcripts (Doc. No. 82) is GRANTED and the transcript, interpretation, and testimony from the hearing are hereby excluded. Defendant’s Motion to Suppress Evidence (Doc. No. 80) is GRANTED and any and all statements that Defendant uttered during the course of his naturalization interview are hereby suppressed. Finally, the indictment is hereby DISMISSED. All remaining motions shall be DENIED as moot.
SIGNED on this 8th day of May 2007.

13 thoughts on “Breaking News – Judge drops charges against Posada (Updated)”

  1. the best part is going to be watching the shit fit titty tantrem castro and chavez are going to have.

  2. Comment deleted by author, curt9954 is a racist and offensive racist comments are not allowed at Babalu.

  3. Just finished reading the opinion….. Whack!! Thump!! and KABOOM!!!!
    She has thrown the proverbial book at the feds for their unabashed attempt to play dirty in trying to nail this man (page 26 and following). And she just shredded them under the section discussing govt. deception. Pulled out all the stops with the case law. Checkmate.
    The shoddy transcripts and translations are just “paisaje”. They’re mere icing on the cake providing ammunition for the judge to make her case. I’m so glad to see someone FINALLY (@&*#$%!!) take these crappy translations and interpreters to task, and especially in Texas; it’s deplorable.
    But what I think really happened is that she saw right through the disguise of the ICE interview at the ulterior motives. Can’t believe there was such a freaking truckload of “irregularities” for a simple naturalization interview, which usually runs less than one hour. This one lasted two days with an army of lawyers who had no business being there. INDEED, it was a great fishing expedition. Glad to see this judge threw the catch and the bait overboard.
    Checkmate, baby.

  4. Gigi, I haven’t been this happy since I thought fidel was dead! A thought, if I were a proud Texas Judge and read in the newspaper that the FBI was down in Havana playing footsie with a dictator in an effort to “find” evidence against a defendant charged with immigration violations before my court, and was already disturbed by the due process violations–well all I can say is score one (even if temporary) for Cubans, and I just love that that the prosecutors are left with their pants down on this one. One more thought, am I the only one convinced that there is an “Ana Belen Montes” in the justice department?

  5. What wonderful news!!!! Justice sometimes comes slowly. BTW-what a great time for fidel to put his new arsehole to good use. 😉

  6. Ziva,
    No you are not the only one with that thought. That same thought has been on my mind for many years. I just hope that this wake-up call might help nab the Justice Department’s Ana Belen Montes.

  7. This just goes to show you that just because some compare you to Ronald Reagan, because you come to Miami shouting Viva Cuba Libre!, that you say you will free a country in 4 years when 8 have gon by, that you are NOT a friend of the Cuban people.
    We have been stabbed in the back by Bush after we gave him the US presidency. We need to elect a real Hard core Conservative that will not bow to liberals but accomplish greatness.
    Ronald Reagan was the best and there will never be another so let’s stop looking for Ronni in other candidates. Let’s look for an anti-Communist, Pro God, Pro capatalist candidate.
    Has anyone seen one lately?

  8. “But what I think really happened is that she saw right through the disguise of the ICE interview at the ulterior motives. Can’t believe there was such a freaking truckload of “irregularities” for a simple naturalization interview, which usually runs less than one hour. This one lasted two days with an army of lawyers who had no business being there. INDEED, it was a great fishing expedition. Glad to see this judge threw the catch and the bait overboard.

    This situation has all the fingerprints and smelll of a high-level Bush Justice Department directive all over it.

  9. Don Luis Posada Carriles is now a FREE man.!! Hooray!!
    I`m sure the castro as* lickers in congress are having a fit. The New York Times which is the offical “Aid and Conform” to the enemy of the American people can be expected to throw uncontrollable displays of rage and exasperation. I hope the editors get so incense that they go into a sizure

  10. Yep, there’s more than one Ana Belen at DOJ, and most likely at DHS (Homeland Security) …. the higher you go, the thinner the air, the more leftist they are.
    And we should send cafe con pastelitos to the judge just for sheer effort she put forth in listening to all the crud in the recordings over and over and over. Texas tenacity, for sure.

  11. The opinion is scathing and demonstrates that no matter who is in power, when it is convenient, the govt. will violate one’s constitutional rights as was done here.
    I applaud the judge’s opinion based on the facts of what happened regardless if it is posada or john doe, or hakeem musthapha. Posada obviously had competent counsel.
    Once again, as in the Duke case, having a good defense counsel and the ability to pay for one is inviolate.
    I just wonder if the left who loves to rub it in to us vis a vis the “rule of law” during elian and those decisions that went against us, will accord similar respect to the judge’s decision here. Likewise, if the decision had involved immigrant Hakeem Mustapha from Pakistan, we would all respect the opinion just the same and deplore what the government did since the rule of law must always be respected.

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