Venezuela to ask new US gov't to hand over terrorist Posada
As Venezuela approaches a new referendum on Constitutional Amendment and confront growing concerns over foreign meddling in its domestic politics, Caracas ponders over the renewal of a extradition demand to the new US administration over notorious terrorist Posada Carriles. Venezuela has demanded the extradition of its former secret police official to no avail.
Notorious Posada Carriles - 79-year-old exiled anti-Castro militant and former CIA agent- has been involved in various terrorist acts. He is accused of blowing up of a Cuban airliner which killed seventy-three people in 1976. He was jailed in Venezuela but escaped from it dressed as a priest in 1985
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela will renew its demand for the United States to extradite a former CIA operative accused of plotting the 1976 bombing of a Cuban plane that killed all 73 people on board, a lawyer for the Venezuelan government said Friday. Venezuela hopes President Barack Obama's administration will see the case of 80-year-old Luis Posada Carriles differently and turn him over to face trial in Venezuela, attorney Jose Pertierra said. Officials in the administration of former President George W. Bush snubbed a Venezuelan extradition request, but prosecuted Posada on immigration fraud charges, which a federal judge dismissed in 2007.
An immigration judge in the U.S. ruled that Posada cannot be sent to Venezuela or Cuba because of fears he would be tortured. No other country has been willing to let him in.
«This is a new administration and Venezuela sees this as a fresh start in matters of mutual cooperation. What we're hoping is that this case will not be seen as politicized, as the Bush administration made it, and will evaluate it on its merits,» Pertierra told The Associated Press by telephone from Washington. «If it's considered only on its legal merits, we're confident that the secretary of state will extradite him. An extradition request initially submitted by Venezuela in 2005 will be reactivated in the coming days and documents will be presented to the U.S. State Department, Pertierra said. Pertierra said President Hugo Chavez has approved diplomatic guarantees that the Cuban-born Posada would have his safety ensured and receive a fair trial if extradited. Posada, a naturalized Venezuelan who once held a prominent role in Venezuela's secret police, now lives freely in Miami. His lawyer did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Cuban officials alleged Posada is being a string of attacks on civilians as well as attempts to kill former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
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