Lawyer Files Complaint Against Castro!

Lawyer Files Complaint Against Castro!
Posted by FoM on January 06, 1999 at 06:29:12 PT

PARIS  A lawyer representing a Cuban exile in France filed a complaint today against Fidel Castro that accuses the Cuban leader of international drug trafficking, judicial officials said. 
The complaint was filed with Paris courts by lawyer Serge Lewisch on behalf of Ileana de la Guardia. She is the daughter of Cuban Col. Antonio de la Guardia, who was executed in Cuba in 1989 for allegedly smuggling drugs into the United States, said the officials, who requested anonymity. Lewisch also filed complaints against Castro on behalf of French photographer Pierre Golendorf, who spent 21/2 years in a Cuban jail, and Cuban artist Lazaro Jordana, jailed for four years for illegally leaving the country. Both men accuse Castro of "crimes against humanity," including torture and murder, the officials said. No further details were immediately available. The judicial officials said a judge would be required to open an investigation given the gravity of the accusations. However, they said it was unlikely the charges of crimes against humanity would succeed since Castro would enjoy immunity as a head of state. But the drug-trafficking charges could stand, they said, since French law respects the immunity of foreign leaders only in cases directly linked to the sovereignty of the state in question. Drug trafficking would not fall into that category, they said. De la Guardia was executed by a firing squad alongside Maj. Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa, Maj. Amado Padron and Capt. Jorge Martinez. All confessed guilt but asked for mercy based on their records and contrition. The drug scandal stunned Castro's communist government, which for years had denied U.S. accusations that Cuba was being used to smuggle cocaine and marijuana to the United States. At the time of the trial, Castro said the scandal had done immense internal damage and eroded Cuba's international image. Lewisch charged that the United States knew in the late 1980s that Cuba had become a major conduit for drugs, and that the Caribbean island was using the revenue to fight the U.S. trade embargo and fund its forces in Angola. He said the four officials were scapegoats, executed to deflect accusations of drug-trafficking away from Castro. "French jurisdiction has the competence to investigate these complaints and deliver an arrest warrant for Fidel Castro," Lewisch told The Associated Press. Judicial sources said prosecutors would need to prove that the drugs were destined for Europe, and France in particular, as Lewisch claims. 
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