U.S. ordered to
disclose payments to reporters covering the Cuban
WASHINGTON .—A U.S. federal court
has instructed the State Department to hand over
material related to the payment of journalists who
acted to the detriment of the Five.
to the antiterroristas.cu website, in June, the
Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) filed a
lawsuit against the State Department in the District
of Columbia’s federal court, based on the Freedom of
Information Act, given that the Department refused
to hand over material in its possession on secret
payments by the government to Miami-based
These reporters covered the case of
the Five before and during their trial, as well as
during the jury’s deliberations. The press
irreparably prejudiced the Five with its
Now, as a result of the PCJF lawsuit,
the State Department has received an order from the
court to expeditiously produce the documents in its
possession. It was ordered to release the first
round beginning in October.
"This is an important step forward,"
said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of
The documents which the State
Department refused to hand over cover a crucial
period for the Cuban anti-terrorists, she added. "The
documents that were requested would cover the U.S.
government’s payments to Miami-based journalists at
the very time the U.S. government was prosecuting
the Cuban Five," she noted.
Attorney Carl Messineo, PCJF legal
director, explained the purpose of the lawsuit at
the time of its filing in June 2013: "It appears the
government manipulated domestic public opinion to
advance their political and prosecution goals. This
lawsuit seeks underlying records. They have no right
to hide their misconduct." (PL)