enero 01, 2007

Cuban Pastor acquitted, but convicted on new charge.

A court in Havana has found the Rev. Carlos Lamelas not guilty of “trafficking in human beings” but convicted him on a previously unannounced charge of falsification of documents. Judges imposed a fine of 1,000 Cuban pesos (US$45) on the evangelical pastor and former national president of the Church of God in Cuba for the new charge.
A co-defendant in the trafficking case, evangelical pastor Joel Rojas of Holguín, was convicted of “human trafficking” (helping Cubans flee the country) and was sentenced to seven years in prison, according to the court document.
A guilty verdict for Lamelas on the charge of “human trafficking” could have resulted in a prison term of up to nine years. He expressed relief but said, “We are not satisfied. How can it be that I am innocent of the original crime, and nevertheless guilty of the one they later invented?”