Back in May, a judge dismissed immigration charges against Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, arguing he had been tricked in the interview that led to his indictment. At the time, it looked like BushCo threw the case, not wanting to convict one of their favored terrorists.
But now, two of his associates have pled guilty to charges of obstruction of justice in connection with his case.
Two associates of Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles have pleaded guilty in the Western District of Texas to charges of obstruction of justice in connection with the U.S. government�s investigation of Posada Carriles, Michael J. Mullaney, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas announced today.
Osvaldo Mitat, age 65 and Santiago Alvarez, age 66, both natives of Cuba, each entered pleas of guilty today to a one-count superseding criminal information that charged each defendant with obstruction of justice. The plea occurred before U.S. District Judge David Briones. Each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, three years supervised release and a $100 special assessment. Sentencing for both has been scheduled for Feb. 1, 2008.
According to the statement of facts agreed upon by each defendant, on or about Dec. 18, 2006, a federal grand jury in the Western District of Texas subpoenaed both Mitat and Alvarez to testify in the course of its investigation into allegedly false statements made to the government made by Posada Carriles about his unlawful entry to the United States and other matters.
On or about Jan. 11, 2007, each was granted immunity from prosecution from any self-incriminating statements and each was ordered to testify by the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas. Not withstanding the grant of immunity and court order compelling their testimony, the defendants refused to testify before the grand jury about the subject of its investigation. By doing so, Mitat and Alvarez did unlawfully and corruptly influence, obstruct and impede, and endeavor to influence, obstruct, and impede the due administration of justice.
Among others investigating this case were lawyers from the Counter-Terrorism section of DOJ.
Maybe I'm being overly optimistic. But if they're getting pleas from Posada's associates, does that mean things might move forward?