CIA terrorist released by U.S. judge

Sat, 07 Apr 2007 04:33:33

A federal judge has ordered the release of a former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles wanted by Cuba and Venezuela for plotting the deadly bombing of a Cuban jetliner which killed dozens of people.

The judge ordered the Cuban-born Venezuelan national released on a 350,000 dollars bail on condition that he remain confined to his Miami home and submit to "electronic monitoring," according to a federal court order in El Paso, Texas.

Posada Carriles, a tough opponent of the Cuban President Fidel Castro, is accused of masterminding the downing of a Cuban jet off Barbados in 1976 in which 73 people were killed.

He was arrested in Venezuela in 1976 and convicted in the case, but fled prison in 1985.

He was also sentenced to eight years' jail in Panama in a bomb plot to assassinate Castro during an Ibero-American summit there in 2000, but was pardoned by outgoing president Mireya Moscoso.

Posada Carriles was detained by U.S. immigration officials in May 2005 for entering the United States illegally. Now the U.S. immigration authorities say the ruling disappointed them and they will arrest him as soon as he is out.

Washington refuses to release Posada to Cuba and Venezuela, saying that he might be tortured. At the same time, the judicial system has refused to free him, calling him a threat to the national security.

Declassified U.S. documents show that Posada Carriles worked for the CIA from 1965 to June 1976. He reportedly helped the U.S. government ferry supplies to the Contra rebels that waged a bloody campaign to topple the socialist Sandinistas in Nicaragua in the 1980s.