Cuba mulls pardon for U.S. contractor in spy saga
14:13, May 17, 2011
In a high-profile spy saga between Washington and Havana, Cuba's supreme
court said Monday it is assessing the appeal of convicted U.S.
contractor Alan Gross, which could result in a pardon or release.
Gross was found guilty in March of "spying and subversion" as well as
"acts against the independence or territorial integrity of the state."
He is serving a 15-year sentence at a Havana prison.
"There is a pending appeal and it is being considered to grant a pardon
or release on humanitarian grounds, considering that his daughter and
mother are very sick," said Supreme Court President Ruben Remigio Ferro.
Ferro said the appeal "will be resolved in the shortest time possible."
Gross was accused of providing Internet satellite equipments to Cuban
anti-government groups, a charge he denies.
Washington, meanwhile, declared that Gross is just an employee of the
"Alternative Development Company" which was helping a Cuban Jewish
organization to improve communication with partners abroad. But Adela
Dworin, a leader of the Cuban Jewish community, said she never met
Gross. The "Alternative Development Company" has been listed by U.S.
thinktanks as a private-owned company with a mission to "promote
After Gross' conviction, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter travelled to
Cuba and visited him by the end of March. Carter asked Cuban authorities
to release Gross, saying the man did not pose any "serious threat to the
people and government of Cuba."