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Anti-Castro militant released from US custody on bail

[JURIST] Cuban anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive] posted bond and was released from a New Mexico jail on Thursday after ongoing debate about his release. Carriles, 79, a former CIA operative trained by the US for the failed anti-Castro Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, was arrested in 2005 [JURIST report; DOJ press release] for illegally entering the United States and had been under the custody of immigration officials. Earlier this month, US District Judge Kathleen Cardone ruled that Carriles should be released [JURIST report], and set bail at $250,000. Federal prosecutors filed an emergency motion appealing the ruling, to keep him in jail pending his immigration trial. On Tuesday, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that Carriles could post bond and be released [AP report], after ordering a temporary injunction Friday blocking his release [JURIST report] until a final ruling this week. Carriles will remain under house arrest and electronic surveillance, as required by the court order.

Carriles is due to be deported for entering the US illegally. A US immigration judge delayed his deportation in 2005 [JURIST report], after having determined that Carriles cannot be sent to Venezuela, where he is a naturalized citizen, or to Cuba, the country of his birth, for fears that he would be tortured. Carriles is accused of orchestrating the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner [Wikipedia backgrounder], as well as numerous assassination attempts on Cuban President Fidel Castro, and has previously sought asylum in the US. Earlier this week, a lawyer representing the government of Venezuela accused the US of preventing Carriles' extradition [JURIST report] and obstructing justice. Castro issued a statement condemning the district court's ruling [JURIST report]. Carriles is wanted in both countries on terrorism charges. AP has more.

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