What took place in the legal trial of the Five has no precedent

by Nyliam Vázquez García
Sept. 17, 2012
Reprinted from Juventud Rebelde
Translation by http://www.freethefive.org

Although it has been shown that the U.S. Constitution was flagrantly violated, the Government of that country is silent despite the proof. The legal team of the Five explained to the media gathered this Monday in Washington and Havana, through means of a video-conference, the arguments of the current appeals process, based on new evidence.

Martin Garbus, attorney for Gerardo Hernández, stated that Judge Joan Lenard has 30 days to respond to the submitted motion, but that in Miami nothing occurs within that time and less so if it deals with the Five, explained the jurist, who also said that the only thing they request is an oral hearing to show all the compiled documents that prove millions of dollars invested by the Government to pay journalists.

“We have presented three groups of documents to the Federal Court,” expressed Garbus, which demonstrate that journalists were paid with government money to condemn these five men beforehand, in a propaganda campaign without precedent in the United States.

“These men have been in prison 14 years and we believe that it is time that they are freed,” expressed the attorney from the Cuban diplomatic mission in Washington, in a panel where he was accompanied by Raymond Steckel, also a member of the legal team; Ramsey Clark, ex-Attorney General of the United States, and Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five in the United States. Attorney José Pertierra was moderator there, while in the panel in Havana the participants were Adriana Pérez, wife of Gerardo, the journalist Aleida Godínez, who referred to the payments to the journalists, of which she had first-hand information, and moderating was journalist Raúl Garcés.

“The verdict should be annulled and seen as an insult to our system of justice,” pointed out Raymond Steckel and he said that he was there as an American who understands that in this case two important principles were violated: freedom of the press, essential and part of the Constitution; and the right of all accused persons to a fair trial.

“My Government violated its responsibilities according to the Constitution,” denounced the attorney.

The ex-U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, highlighted the millions of dollars destined to corrupt the process, through hundreds of articles and radio and television programs to transmit false information. He asserted that if he were Attorney General today, he would do what anyone in that office should do: overturn the case, as an ethical and legal responsibility.

For her part, from Havana, Adriana Pérez, Gerardo’s wife, called on the media not to be complicit by remaining silent about this evidence, nor about what the families have denounced during these 14 years.

“Who does Obama fear today,” asked Adriana, “that he is not doing what he could do?”

And if the President has any doubt about the innocence of these men, that he ask the current director of Intelligence; that he ask James Clapper, retired lieutenant genera, who was a witness in the trial of the Five and who asserted that they had done nothing against U.S. national security, insisted Adriana on behalf of the family members of the Cuban patriots.

“The Government says that the payments to the journalists didn’t affect the case, but if that is true, why don’t they let us have access to them?” asked Gloria La Riva, who from the solidarity movement has headed up the collection of the information that includes the contracts with the journalists. Some, she said, received up to a quarter of a million dollars to create a hostile environment in Miami against the Five.

Regarding the veracity of the payments before, during and after the Five trial, Aleida Godínez related her experiences as a witness of specific payments and editorial missions of these bought pens.

Later, Martin Garbus said that now they focus on the wrongful conviction. He considered it extraordinary that these evidences have been revealed — a good deal of the contracts that prove the payments to journalists are published in an Internet page [freethefive.org] — and that nothing has been said.

Gloria La Riva said that, as the Five are political prisoners, the political struggle and the legal struggle are the way to achieve their liberation, so she urged all to read and study these now public documents.

In response to one of the questions put by the press, Martin Garbus said he assumes that the Government is still paying journalists to maintain a negative opinion.

In another time during the videoconference the same lawyer said that if the judge does not agreed to an oral hearing, an appeal is an option.

Adriana referred to the jury [of millions] that her husband speaks about and she mentioned the importance of the pressure so that Obama does what he can do.

“I try not to think — after 14 years — that more will pass without Gerardo,” expressed Adriana, affected by her suffering. But she also said, her resistance is greater than that, as is that of the Five and each one of the family members.

video : http://www.freethefive.org/legalFront/LFJointVideo91712.htm,

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