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US contractor convicted in Cuba; 15-year

Amplify’d from www.miamiherald.com

HAVANA —
A Cuban court on Saturday found U.S. contractor Alan Gross guilty of crimes against the state and sentenced him to 15 years in prison, a verdict that brought a swift and strongly worded condemnation from Washington.

The court said prosecutors had proved that Gross, 61, was working on a “subversive” program paid for by the United States that aimed to bring down Cuba’s revolutionary system. Prosecutors had sought a 20-year jail term.

Gloria Berbena, a spokeswoman for the U.S. diplomatic mission on the island, termed the decision “appalling” and called on Cuba to release Gross immediately.

“We reject and deplore this ruling,” she told The Associated Press. “It is appalling that the Cuban government seeks to criminalize what most of the world deems normal, in this case access to information and technology.”

Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council, said the ruling “adds another injustice to Alan Gross’ ordeal.”

“He has already spent too many days in detention and should not spend one more,” he said. “We urge the immediate release of Mr. Gross so that he can return home to his wife and family.”

Read more at www.miamiherald.com

 

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March 15, 2011 - Posted by | global | , , , ,

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