From Mon Sep 6 10:15:12 2004
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 14:26:21 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: [NYTr] Panama: President Denounced for Pardoning Terrorists
Article: 188911
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

Agencia Cubana de Noticias (AIN)

Panamanian President Denounced for Pardoning Terrorists

Agencia Cubana de Noticias (AIN), 27 August 2004

Havana, August 27 (AIN) Panamanian labor leader Genaro Lopez said President Mireya Moscosos decision to pardon four Cuban born terrorists should be condemned by the Panamanian people.

Lopez noted that the executive branch interfered in the decisions of the Supreme Court since the judicial process against the four terrorists had not concluded, reported the Panamanian newspaper El Siglo on its web site.

The labor leader pointed to the contradiction that at the same time Moscoso pardons four international terrorists, the Panamanian Parliament is working to approve a law against terrorism. He said there should be some kind of mechanism to accuse the president for her decision.

The Panamanian union leader added that the presidents misuse of her powers makes the country look bad.

For his part, the general secretary of the National Union Confederation, Gabriel Castillo, said that the Panamanian Presidents decision is illegal and immoral. This is an insult and makes us a laughing stock for releasing terrorists, he said.

Genero Lopez added that President Mireya Moscoso knew well in advance what she was going to do.

Cuban born terrorists, Luis Posada Carriles, Gaspar Jimenez, Pedro Remon and Guillermo Novo Sampol plotted to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro during the Ibero- American Summit in November 2000.

If they had consumed their action at a University of Panama auditorium where Fidel Castro was scheduled to speak, thousands of people could have been killed.

After a prolonged trial and dozens of legal maneuvers, the four pardoned criminals were given sentences of 7 and 8 years in prison by a Panamanian court.

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