In June, in the federal district court of the District of Columbia, the PCJF filed a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit against the U.S. State Department for its refusal to produce materials in its possession about secret payments by the U.S. government to Miami-based journalists. Those reporters were reporting on the case of the Cuban Five prior to the trial, during the trial and while the unsequestered jury was deliberating.
Now, as a result of the PCJF's lawsuit, the State Department has been ordered to expeditiously produce responsive documents in its possession.
The first round of production is ordered to begin in October.
"This is a major step forward in the effort to expose the truth about a terrible miscarriage of justice in this case," stated attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. "The documents that the State Department was refusing to produce cover a critical time period for the Cuban Five. The documents that were requested would cover the U.S. government's payments to Miami-based journalists at the very time the U.S. government was prosecuting the Cuban Five," she added.
The FOIA demand was filed by Liberation Newspaper in October 2010 requesting documents about the government's covert payments to journalists in Miami from 1998-2002. The Cuban Five were arrested on September 12, 1998, and the seven-month trial began in November 2000.
Attorney Carl Messineo, Legal Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, explained the purpose of the lawsuit at the time of its filing in June 2013: "It appears the government manipulated domestic public opinion to advance their political and prosecution goals. This lawsuit seeks underlying records. They have no right to hide their misconduct."
Click here to read the complaint
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From the website of PCJF
National Committee to Free the Cuban Five