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Cuba repatriates Spanish politician

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iol news pic Angel Carromero

AP

File image - Spanish citizen Angel Francisco Carromero, who was jailed in Cuba over a fatal car crash has returned home to serve the remainder of his four-year sentence. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

Madrid - A Spanish conservative politician who was jailed in Cuba over a fatal car crash will return home to serve the remainder of his four-year sentence, the Spanish government said Friday.

Spain's government approved the deal in a cabinet meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told a news conference.

In October, a Cuban court found Angel Carromero, leader of the youth wing of Spain's ruling Popular Party, guilty of vehicular manslaughter by way of reckless driving and sentenced him to four years in prison.

Carromero was driving the car on an unpaved road when it slammed into a tree near the southeastern Cuban town of Bayamo on July 22.

Carromero and a young Swedish activist, Jens Aron Modig, were seated in the front of the car and both survived. But the crash killed leading Cuban opposition figure Oswaldo Paya, 60, and fellow Cuban dissident Harold Cepero, 31, who were in the back.

“Today we authorised the transfer to Spain of Angel Carromero so he can complete here the sentence imposed by the Cuban judicial authorities,” Saenz de Santamaria said.

Spain's consul general in Havana had signed an agreement with the Cuban authorities on Carromero's transfer, she said.

During the trial, Carromero expressed regret to the families of the victims of the accident but denied speeding.

“The last time I looked at the speedometer, I wasn't speeding, I was doing about 80 or 90 kilometers per hour (50 or 55 miles per hour),” he said.

Paya won the European Parliament's top human rights award, the Sakharov prize, in 2002 for opposing the Americas' only one-party Communist regime. - Sapa-AFP


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