09/04/13 - GlobalPost - Spain court opposes pardon for Spaniard in Cuba car crash
Madrid, Sep 4 (EFE).- The Spanish political activist serving a
non-custodial sentence for a car crash in Cuba that resulted in the death
of prominent dissident Oswaldo Paya does not merit a pardon, Spain's
National Court concludes in a report issued Wednesday.
The Cuban judiciary convicted Angel Carromero, a leader of the youth wing
of Spain's governing conservative Popular Party, of vehicular manslaughter
in connection with the July 2012 accident.
Sentenced to four years behind bars, Carromero was sent back to Spain last
Dec. 29 under a bilateral accord on repatriation of prisoners.
The terms of his incarceration were softened in early January to allow for
daytime work release and weekend furloughs. He was released outright the
following month, though he remains subject to electronic monitoring.
The National Court said it "did not find reasons of justice, equity or
appropriateness" to recommend a pardon for Carromero, given that he is
already able to live his life "without any limitations."
The judges, whose opinion is not binding, also cited the record of driving
infractions that caused Carromero to lose his Spanish driver's license
prior to the crash in Cuba.
Spain's government will make the final decision on whether to pardon
Carromero, who now claims that Cuban authorities pressured him into
accepting blame for the wreck.
Paya, the 60-year-old founder of the Christian Liberation Movement, died on
July 22, 2012, while traveling by car from Havana to the eastern city of
Santiago de Cuba.
He was accompanied by colleague Harold Cepeda, Swedish political activist
Jens Aron Modig and Carromero, who was at the wheel of the rental car.
Cuban authorities said Carromero was speeding.
The Spaniard, however, says the rental car was rammed from behind by a
Cuban government vehicle, and his revised account is part of the criminal
suit Paya's family filed last month with the National Court.
The family brought the case in Spain because the late dissident was a dual
Paya emerged as a leading opposition figure in 2002, when he delivered to
Cuba's parliament more than 10,000 signed petitions calling for a
referendum on democratization.
He was also honored that year with the European Parliament's Sakharov
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