5 Cubans Convicted of Spy Charges

Associated Press

Five Cubans were convicted Friday of conspiring to spy on the United States for Cuban President Fidel Castro's Communist regime. The leader of the group faces up to life in prison for his role in a Cuban air force attack that killed four U.S. fliers.

Gerardo Hernandez was found guilty of contributing to the deaths of the four members of Brothers to the Rescue who were shot down by Cuban jet fighters in international airspace in 1996.

Prosecutors accused Hernandez of knowing about the plot to shoot down the two planes on Feb. 24, 1996, because he warned two agents who infiltrated the group not to fly during a four-day period.

The defense said he was prosecuted as a scapegoat for the Cuban government, which had warned, after nearly two years of violations of its airspace by the anti-Castro group, that intruders risked being shot down.

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