HAVANA.— Richard Klugh, a member of the defense team of the five Cuban anti-terrorists incarcerated in the United States for close to 13 years, has given an update on their current situation.
In an interview broadcast by Radio Havana Cuba, Klugh stated that Gerardo Hernández, one of the Five (as they are known in international campaigns for their liberation), submitted a habeas corpus relief in March based on new evidence, which was opposed by the U.S. government on April 25.
Hernández, together with Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, has been in prison since September 12, 1998 for alerting Cuba to subversive plots being hatched against the country from South Florida.
Klugh explained that Hernández’ legal team has filed a comprehensive reply as well as additional memoranda and affidavits in response to the prosecution’s opposition to his habeas corpus relief.
He said that the defense believes that it has responded to all the arguments made by the government. The attorneys have also filed an affidavit from Hernández and an additional affidavit from his former attorney Paul McKenna, supporting the fundamental allegations in the habeas corpus application.
Klugh feels that the team has made many strides towards proving all the arguments and Hernández’ innocence.
In relation to Antonio Guerrero, he has also filed his reply to the government’s response, likewise focusing on the use of paid Radio Martí and TV Martí employees to publish articles prejudicial to the Five at their trial in Miami.
Guerrero’s reply has affidavits indicating how evidence has gradually come out as to exactly the extent to which the United States tried to prejudice the Five by publishing articles that were intended to stir up anger and hostility.
He clarified that the documents filed for Hernández and Guerrero also apply to René González; however, Ramón Labañino and Fernando González have not yet had the opportunity to request habeas corpus relief. They are about to file their motions which raise some of the same issues in support of their claim.
"We feel," he stated, "that we have reached a point now where the evidence is overwhelming and establishes the currently hostile and intentionally created hostile environment in which the trial of the Cuban patriots was held."
The government’s failure to admit what it did to poison the atmosphere against the Five is a fundamental violation of their rights, he affirmed.
The defense attorneys also believe that the evidence they submitted, specifically in regard to Gerardo, establish his innocence and also establish the unfairness of the convictions of all the Five, Klugh noted. (PL)