Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cuba prosecutors seek seven years for Spain's Carromero

16 August 2012 Last updated at 09:11 GMT

Cuba prosecutors seek seven years for Spain's Carromero

Spanish politician Angel Carromero Angel Carromero belongs to Spain's
centre-right Popular Party

Cuban prosecutors are reported to be seeking a seven-year jail term for
Spanish politician Angel Carromero over the death of dissident Oswaldo
Paya in a car crash.

Mr Carromero was driving a car that hit a tree along an unpaved stretch
of road in eastern Cuba on 22 July.

He and Swedish politician Jens Aron Modig survived but Mr Paya and
fellow Cuban activist Harold Cepero died.

Mr Carromero has been in custody since then.

Diplomatic sources told Spanish media that prosecutors were seeking
three-and-a-half years for each victim.

Under Cuban law, involuntary manslaughter carries a term of between one
and 10 years.

Spanish media report that Mr Carromero's trial could begin in the coming

If Mr Carromero is found guilty, the Spanish government is hoping that
he will be allowed to serve out his sentence in Spain, El Pais newspaper

Mr Paya's family have questioned the circumstances of the crash,
alleging that the vehicle may have been forced off the road.

But on 30 July, Mr Carromero appeared in a pre-recorded video released
by the Cuban authorities saying that he had lost control of the car and
denying that a second vehicle had been involved in the crash.

Mr Modig, a member of Sweden's Christian Democratic Party, and Mr Angel
Carromero, from Spain's centre-right Popular Party, admitted that they
had taken some 4,000 euros ($4,900; £3,100) to Cuba to give to Oswaldo
Paya and other dissidents, which is illegal in the country.

Mr Modig, who has since returned home, said he was asleep at the time of
the crash.

Oswaldo Paya, who was 60, was best known as the founder of the Varela
project, a campaign begun in 1998 to gather signatures in support of a
referendum on laws guaranteeing civil rights.

The Cuban government described him as an agent of the US who was working
to undermine the country's revolution.

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