Defense to Present Appeal Before Miami Court for Gerardo Hernandez
Havana, August 18 (RHC) – On Monday, August 20th, a groundbreaking affidavit for Cuban Five defendant Gerardo Hernández will be filed in Federal District Court in Miami by attorney Martin Garbus. Garbus, a renowned First Amendment and civil rights attorney, joined the Five’s legal defense team in April 2012.
The affidavit supports Hernández’s habeas corpus appeal and seeks the overturning of his wrongful conviction, based on the government’s massive misconduct, with its multi-million-dollar payments to Miami journalists during the Five’s prosecution.
If Judge Joan Lenard does not agree to Hernández’s appeal to vacate the conviction, the affidavit asks the Court to order discovery and grant an oral hearing. The objective of discovery is full exposure of the government’s illegal and secret operation.
Knowledge of the government payments to so-called “independent” journalists was first revealed in a September 8, 2006 Miami Herald article.
Gerardo, sentenced to a double life sentences plus 15 years, was detained in 1998 — along with Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez — for monitoring violent groups from Miami that were organizing and carrying out terrorist actions against the island.
Through the affidavit, a 82-page text, the defense team will ask the Court, on behalf of Gerardo, to order discovery from Washington of evidence that reveals payments to journalists from U.S. taxpayers, to create a hostile atmosphere, influence the jury and promote the imprisonment of the Five.
The appeal also seeks to achieve an oral hearing in favor of Gerardo, who along with his companions tried to prevent terrorist actions like those that have left more than 3,000 victims in Cuba in the last 53 years.
The statement that renowned jurist Garbus will present provides details of the covert operation mounted by the U.S. Government through its paid journalists, especially in Miami, to generate an environment favorable to the conviction of the Five.
Gerardo, Ramon, Fernando and Antonio are still behind bars, while Rene is serving three years of parole in the U.S. after spending more than 12 years in prison, which has been described as an additional punishment.
Thousands of people worldwide, many of them grouped in committees of solidarity with the antiterrorists, as well as legislators, intellectuals and more than a dozen Nobel Prize winners have demanded that Washington return the Five to Cuba immediately.