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Cuba sentences US contractor to 15 years in jail

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Cuba sentences US contractor to 15 years in jail

2011-03-13 04:30:55 GMT+7 (ICT)

HAVANA (BNO NEWS) -- A Cuban court on Saturday sentenced U.S. contractor Alan P. Gross to 15 years in prison for crimes against the Cuban state.

Evidence showed that Gross was involved in a subversive project of the U.S. governement intended to undermine the Cuban government by distributing illegal satellite communications equipment. Gross admitted during the trial to have been used and manipulated by USAID which had issued a contract to Development Alternatives Inc., Prensa Latina reported.

Gross, a 60-year-old Maryland resident allegedly caught in Cuba distributing illegal electronic equipment, has been in jail for 13 months. Washington said Gross is an employee of the Development Alternatives company and was helping the Cuban Jewish organization communicate with their counterparts abroad.

The Cuban prosecution were seeking a 20-year jail term.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor slammed the ruling, saying that it "adds another injustice to Alan Gross's ordeal."

"He has already spent too many days in detention and should not spend one more," Vietor said. "We urge the immediate release of Mr. Gross so that he can return home to his wife and family."

Gross can appeal his sentence to Cuba's Supreme Court.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-03-13

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