Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - Page 7 News List

Spaniard jailed in Cuba for dissident’s death is repatriated

AP, MADRID

A Spaniard imprisoned in Cuba for the death of a prominent dissident arrived in Spain on Saturday to serve the rest of his four-year term after the invocation of an agreement between the two countries.

Angel Carromero Barrios, a Spanish regional political youth leader, lost control of his car and crashed on July 22, killing passengers Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero. Paya was a vocal opponent of the Cuban government and Cepero was also a dissident.

Carromero flew into the Madrid-Barajas Airport with a police escort alongside Miguel Vives, another Spanish citizen, who was sentenced to 18 years prison in Cuba for drug trafficking.

The governments of Cuba and Spain applied a bilateral accord dating from 1998 which allows for the enforcement of each other’s criminal judgments.

A spokesman for Spanish penitentiaries said that Carromero was taken into custody on arrival and would be driven to Segovia jail, 110km northwest of Madrid, to serve the rest of his sentence.

Aron Modig, a Swede who was also riding in the car at the time of the crash and who, along with Carromero, was accused by Cuban state newspaper Granma of getting involved in political activities while visiting Cuba, said he was relieved that his Spanish colleague had returned to Spain.

“It feels wonderful of course,” he told reporters by telephone on Saturday. “I hope he gets as mild [treatment] as possible.”

Modig, who has said he was asleep when the car crashed and who was not able to explain how the vehicle swerved off the road, said his mind remains blank and that he still does not have any recollection of the incident.

“No, I don’t. I’m sleeping when the crash occurs so I go from a sleeping state into being unconscious for about half an hour. I wake up in the ambulance,” Modig said.

Ofelia Acevedo, Paya’s widow, has said she does not believe the Cuban investigators’ account of the accident, saying she hopes that Carromero will tell the truth once on Spanish soil.

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