The Cuban Judicial Chapter for the Defense of Humanity expresses herein its overjoy in view of the unanimous decision taken by the three-judge panel of the Atlanta Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in charge of reviewing the appeals of the five Cuban heroes sentenced to disproportionate prison terms for being fighters against the terrorist acts directed to our country for over forty-five years.
On August 9, the above-mentioned panel made its decision known, according to which the trial held at the Miami-Dade District Court in Florida is declared null and void after considering that it lacked the necessary impartiality of the jury members who passed judgment on the charges pressed by the Prosecution.
Among the various arguments sustained by the appellants, the said absence of an impartial jury was sufficient for the Eleventh Circuit to give a ruling on the process, impregnated as it was with the prejudice, antagonism and hatred prevailing amidst the Miami-settled Cuban community.
In the ninety-three pages of the document detailing the passed judgment, the Atlanta Panel shows that the trial was indeed vitiated by prejudice and hatred against the defendants and constituted a flagrant violation of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
This is obviously a ruling that dissociates itself from any political appraisals and is in absolute and rigorous keeping with the law, defending what it calls an essential principle and basic value of justice in the United States, namely, that every defendant is entitled to be put on trial with neither coercion nor prejudice or preestablished attitudes.
Even if its true that the Prosecution can appeal the judgment, such request for a new hearing is likely to be unsuccessful taking into account both the profound reasoning made by the panel and the fact that it was an unanimous ruling.
Thus, everything points to the possibility of a retrial in a new venue yet to be agreed upon by the parties involved and for which a new Jury is to be selected to start a new process where, as if it were the first time, all the evidence will be presented and all the proceedings will be undertaken.
It is to be expected that the new social, political and judicial atmosphere surrounding the said retrial will further adjust to the Law and, therefore, the brutal prison sentences imposed on our five fellow countrymen are bound to be notably reduced.
For all the above reasons, the Cuban Judicial Chapter for the Defense of Humanity states that this judgment is an important step towards ultimate justice, to wit, declaring the five Cuban heroes not guilty.
The Cuban Judicial Chapter for the Defense of Humanity is fully aware that the decision stems from the Atlanta judges' intelligence, professionalism and rectitude, but bears to mind that the development of a realistic view about the trial and the awareness of the cause defended by the Cubans is the result of the decisive role played by worldwide public opinion, so we thank all those who raised their voices and wits in favor of spreading the truth about our fellow countrymen, and at the same time urge you all to keep on the struggle for their cause, especially now when we must prepare for a new trial.
We believe justice and a judgment of acquittal are in the offing, followed then by the return of our countrymen.
La página fue enviada por Ms C. Arnel Medina Cuenca
Presidente de la Unión Nacional de Juristas de Cuba
(15 de agosto de 2005)