Dáil Éireann - Volume 615 - 21 February, 2006

Written Answers. - Cuban Citizens.

  395. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if a representative will be sent to the Miami five case hearings in the US; and the position regarding the case. [6467/06]

  Mr. D. Ahern: The case to which the Deputy refers relates to five Cuban citizens who were convicted in the US in 2001 on charges ranging from espionage to first degree murder. A panel of three judges from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned the 2001 convictions on 9 August 2005 and ordered a retrial based on new evidence. The Miami District Attorney duly filed an appeal against the decision of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal was heard on 14 February 2006 and the decision is expected by mid-April 2006.

As I have previously informed the House on a number of occasions, the Irish Government has no standing in this matter, which is a bilateral consular question between the US and the Cuban authorities and, consequently, I did not send a representative to the hearing.