A prosecutor in the Luis Posada Carriles trial made a stunning admission Friday: The defense has been effective in alleging U.S. officials tricked the militant Cuban exile into lying under oath.
``Right now there is an impression in this jury that this defendant was taken advantage of'' when he was interviewed by U.S. immigration officials in 2005 and 2006, prosecutor Jerome Teresinski told U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone.
All 11 charges of perjury, obstruction and immigration fraud against Posada, 82, a former CIA asset with a decades-old record of anti-Castro plots, stem from his sworn testimony at the two interviews.
Teresinski's comment, made when jurors were not in the courtroom, came as he sought Cardone's permission to widen the scope of the evidence he could present to prove that the immigration officials didn't take advantage of Posada.
More fireworks exploded in the courtroom later Friday when Teresinski indirectly referred to the many allegations of violent anti-Castro plots linked to Posada. The judge had already ruled that the jury should not hear the allegations.
An angry Arturo V. Hernandez, Posada's attorney, swiftly moved for a mistrial. Cardone denied the motion but warned that ``at some point I may change my mind.''
The wrangling went to the heart of Hernandez's allegation that U.S. immigration officials knew that Posada's requests for asylum and citizenship would be rejected, but still interviewed him under oath to illegally gather evidence for a criminal prosecution.
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