Cuba asks 20 years' imprisonment for U.S. contractor accused of espionage

09:49, February 05, 2011      

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Cuban prosecutors were seeking 20 years' jail for U.S. contractor Phillip Alan Gross on charges of espionage, an official release said Friday.

According to the statement, Gross would be sentenced for "acts against the independence or territorial integrity of the Cuban state."

The report said the U.S. government had been notified of the decision through diplomatic channels.

It also said U.S. consular staff on the island, Mr. Gross, his relatives and his family's lawyers could participate in the trial.

Cuba says that Gross was caught distributing sophisticated communication equipment to anti-Castro groups on the island.

Washington says Gross is an employee of the Development Alternatives company and was helping the Cuban Jewish organization communicate with their counterparts abroad.

Adela Dworin, leader of the Cuban Jewish Community, said recently that she had never met Gross.

Source: Xinhua
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