Prensa Latina: Court Orders US Gov't to Reveal Secret Payments

Prensa Latina: Court Orders US Gov't to Reveal Secret Payments

Reprinted from Prensa Latina

A U.S. federal court ordered the State Department to hand over files about secret payments that the U.S. government made to Miami-based journalists to prejudice the case of the Cuban Five in 2001.

The court order is the result of a lawsuit brought by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF)demanding files about secret U.S. government payments to Miami journalists during the trial of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, who completed his sentence in October 2011 and is currently in Cuba.

The trial of the five men, which was full of irregularities, took place in Miami, Florida.

"This is a major step forward in the effort to expose the truth about a terrible miscarriage of justice in this case," stated attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the PCJF. "The documents that the State Department was refusing to produce cover a critical time period for the Cuban Five," she added.

The lawsuit was filed under the Freedom of Information Act in June, in the federal district court of the District of Columbia, according to a statement by the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five.

The five men were arrested on September 12, 1998, and their seven-month trial, then considered the longest in U.S. history, began in November 2000 and ended in June 2001.

The five men, who were accused of unproven charges, were monitoring violent groups based in South Florida, and devoted to organizing terrorist actions against Cuba.