Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Madrid hasn't forgotten Spaniard held in Cuba for deadly crash

Madrid hasn't forgotten Spaniard held in Cuba for deadly crash
Published August 21, 2012

Spain's foreign ministry continues in close contact with the Spanish
political activist who faces charges in Cuba for the car crash that
killed prominent Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya and a colleague, and is
taking all possible steps to secure his release.

The ministry told Efe Tuesday that Spanish authorities are undertaking
the necessary procedures and that the consul general in Havana has often
visited Angel Carromero, leader of a youth group in Spain's governing
Popular Party.

The Spaniard, Swedish citizen Jens Aron Modig, Paya and fellow dissident
Harold Cepero were on their way from the Cuban capital to the eastern
city of Santiago de Cuba in a rented car on July 22 when the accident

The vehicle, with Carromero at the wheel, ran off the road and crashed
near Bayamo, about 800 kilometers (500 miles) east of Havana.

Paya and Cepero died, while Carromero and Modig suffered relatively
minor injuries.

Cuban authorities blame the accident on excessive speed and the driver's
failure to heed warning signs about road construction. They say the car
was going 120 kph (nearly 75 mph) along a stretch of highway where the
speed limit was 60 kph (around 37 mph).

Carromero, as the driver of the crashed car, faces a possible sentence
of seven years in prison for negligent homicide.

The young Spaniard is being held in custody at a center of the Cuban
Interior Ministry awaiting trial, for which no date has been set.

There is speculation, however, that the trial could take place late this
month or in early September at Bayamo.

The Popular Party has expressed confidence in government's actions,
while the Paya family has repeatedly said it will not press charges
against Carromero because they believe him innocent.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo recently insisted
in a statement on the need to maintain maximum discretion in the matter
so as not to impede Carromero from being repatriated as soon as
possible. EFE

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