Luis Posada Carriles lost a key battle in court Monday when the federal judge presiding over the case admitted into evidence a Guatemalan passport bearing the Cuban exile militant’s photograph.
U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone admitted the passport after the Guatemalan immigration director testified that the passport was genuine, even though it may have been issued to a person carrying a fake Guatemalan national identification card.
Admission of the document could help the prosecution persuade the jury that Posada lied to U.S. immigration officials when he claimed he never possessed a Guatemalan passport in someone else’s name. The name on the passport is Manuel Enrique Castillo Lopez, but the picture on the document is Posada.
At least three charges in the 11-count indictment accuse Posada of denying to immigration officials that he had a passport in the name of Manuel Enrique Castillo Lopez.
Count 10, for example, says Posada told immigration officers “he had never had any type of documentation, passport or identification from the Republic of Guatemala when, in fact, he had a passport issued by that nation bearing his photograph in the name of Manuel Enrique Castillo Lopez.’’
The fact that Cardone agreed to show the passport as evidence to the jury was a victory for the prosecution. Last month, Cardone had ruled that the Guatemalan passport could not be admitted because the prosecution had not properly authenticated it.
As a result, the prosecution brought the Guatemalan immigration chief, Enrique Degenhart Asturias, and put him on the witness stand Monday.
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