Judge Plans to Free 6 Puerto Rican Activists
A federal judge said today that he will order the release of six activists for Puerto Rican independence jailed for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury investigating 40 New York City bombings.
U.S. District Judge Barrington D. Parker said he will delay their release until 5 p.m. Wednesday to give federal prosecutors time to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
During a court hearing, Parker said he will screen each of the six to decide if any conditions should be placed on their release.
Attorneys for the six claimed that a federal prison official’s decision last Thursday to deny the defendants parole after 16 months of incarceration was arbitrary.
Criminal Contempt Charges
Five of the defendants--Julio Rosado; his brother, Andres Rosado; Maria Cueto; Steven Guerra, and Ricardo Romero--were convicted on criminal contempt-of-court charges and sentenced June 7, 1983, to three years in prison. The sixth defendant, Federico Cintron-Fiallo, was convicted in a separate trial.
All six refused to testify before a Brooklyn, N.Y., grand jury investigating 40 unsolved bombings in New York City, including one that killed four people and injured more than 60 at a lower Manhattan tavern in 1975, and four blasts Dec. 31, 1982, that gravely injured three police officers.
The FALN, a group advocating independence for Puerto Rico, has claimed responsibility for the bombings.