Judge Tosses Indictment of Cuban Militant Luis Posada Carriles

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A federal judge on Tuesday threw out Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles' indictment accusing him of lying to immigration authorities, criticizing the government's actions in the case and the interpretation of Posada's naturalization interview.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone ruled on a motion by Posada's attorneys seeking to throw out statements he made during the interview in April 2006.

"The evidence is overwhelming that the Government improperly manipulated the administration of criminal justice in order to secure a criminal indictment(s) against defendant," Cardone wrote in her 38-page ruling.

Cardone said the interpretation of the interview "is so inaccurate as to render it unreliable as evidence of defendant's actual statement."

Posada, a 79-year-old former CIA operative and fierce opponent of Fidel Castro, was scheduled to stand trial next week in Texas on immigration fraud charges.

Cuba and Venezuela want Posada extradited for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner, but the United States has refused to send him to either country. Posada has denied involvement in the bombing that killed 73 people.

Posada's attorneys argued in their motion that the interview was just a way for the government to get more information about the ongoing investigation against him.

As part of her ruling, Cardone excluded all transcripts and tapes of statements that Posada had made during the naturalization interview.