Lawsuit claims US government paid reporters during Cuban Five spy trial

NCFCF rally

NCFCF rally

Campaigners in support of the release of a group of Cuban government agents jailed in the US have sued the US government for allegedly influencing media coverage of the trial by paying journalists in Miami. The Cuban Five were arrested in 1998 and convicted in 2001 of spying on US soil on behalf of the Cuban government. But now the Washington-based Partnership for Civil Justice Fund has joined forces with The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, in accusing the US government of employing journalists to shape American public opinion about the Five. According to the lawsuit, 16 American journalists working for Radio y Televisión Martí, a US government-funded TV and radio station targeting Cuba, were employed by the US government to air critical views about the Cuban Five through non-governmental news outlets. The plaintiffs have requested the release of all government contracts relating to the 16 journalists, and dated from 1998 to 2001. The Cuban government has admitted it employed the Cuban Five, but it says they only monitored militant anti-Castro groups planning to stage violent attacks on Cuban soil. Since 2001, Havana has campaigned for the release of the Five, three of whom are serving life sentences. Last July, a US appeals court ruled that the sentences imposed on the Five were too long, and new sentences are expected to be handed down on October 13.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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