Saturday, April 22, 2006

Double Agent...

The Miami Herald's Jay Weaver and Oscar Corral have this interesting story on the confidential informant in the weapons case involving Santiago Alvarez and Osvaldo Mitat. Here's the intro:

A federal informant playing a critical role in a South Florida weapons case against the wealthy Miami benefactor for Cuban exile militant Luis Posada Carriles also was sharing details about the exiles with a Cuban government official known as ''Daniel'' as far back as 2001, prosecutors have revealed.

Prosecutors also disclosed for the first time that the FBI informant, Gilberto Abascal, traveled by boat with Posada's benefactor and other friends last year to pick up the CIA-trained Posada in Mexico and bring him back to the United States illegally.

Details of Abascal's past contacts with a Cuban official and Posada's entry into the United States surfaced Friday as attorneys for the weapons-case defendants, Santiago Alvarez and Osvaldo Mitat, sought to obtain more information from prosecutors that could help their clients' defense.

For months, prosecutors claimed to have no evidence that Abascal communicated with Cuban government officials. Yet the April 6 letter made public Friday acknowledges that Abascal met with ''Daniel'' and perhaps others at least six times -- an admission that could bolster claims that the defendants were set up by the Cuban government.

The explosive admission was made public just two weeks before the May 8 trial in Fort Lauderdale, a location opposed by the defendants because they maintain they cannot get a fair trial outside of Miami-Dade.

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