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Fifth Circuit orders anti-Castro militant to stand trial for US immigration violations

[JURIST] The US Appeals Court for the Fifth Circuit ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles [JURIST news archive; case materials] will stand trial in the US for alleged immigration violations, effectively blocking extradition efforts by Cuba and Venezuela. Both countries say that the US is bound by international treaties, including the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation [texts], to hand over Carriles, but the US has so far refused to do so. Carriles, a Venezuelan-born Cuban citizen, is wanted in both Cuba and Venezuela on terrorism charges relating to the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airplane [Aviation Safety Network backgrounder]. The Los Angeles Times has more.

Carriles was arrested in 2005 for illegally entering the US and had been under the custody of immigration officials until his release on bail [JURIST reports] in April 2007. Cuba criticized Carriles' release, and accused the US of violating international anti-terrorism treaties by freeing him and dismissing charges [JURIST reports] against him. Also in April 2007, Venezuela announced plans to challenge the US [JURIST report] before the Organization of American States (OAS) [official website] and other international bodies for refusing to prosecute or extradite Carriles for the terrorist bombing. The US government has cited the UN Convention Against Torture [text] as justification for denying Cuban and Venezuelan requests [JURIST report] to extradite Carriles, asserting that Carriles could face torture in those countries.

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