Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Herald-Tribune, June 5, 1966, "Jury Has Case of 4 Accused of Plot to Smuggle Bombs" by United Press International.

ORLANDO - An all-male jury began deliberating Saturday in the trial of Cuban exile leader Orlando Bosch and three other exiles accused by the federal government of trying to smuggle weapons of war outside this country.

U.S. District Judge George C. Young [handed] the case to the 12-man panel at 11 a.m.

Bosch, Marcos Rodriguez Ramos, Jose Dize Morejon and Gerulio Guiterrez were indicted by a federal grand jury following their arrest in June 1965.

The four men were charged with conspiring to export 18 aerial bombs by a rented World War II bomber in an attempt to commit an act of war against Cuba by dropping them on a Shell Oil refinery in Havana.

Bosch told newsmen during a recess in the trial, "We are planning more attacks right now. I would say three or four at least."

He said he would continue his activities "anytime, anywhere" even if convicted on the federal charges brought against him and the other three exiles.

"I don't believe in my heart we are violating a law when we seek to stamp out Castro and his Communist system. But, that's for your government to decide.

"Me, I will continue my activities from Miami, inless they put me in jail for this," he vowed.

Bosch testified Friday the bombs seized at a house in Zellwood, Fla., along with aerial maps of Havana and a life raft were part of a Central Intelligence Agency plot to bomb the oil refinery.

He told the court a man he identified as Bill Johnson, whom he called a CIA agent, had contacted him in Miami last year and told him of plans to destroy the refinery. Bosch said he told Johnson he was not interested because he lacked money, bombs and a plane.

Bosch testified the man approached him a short time later and offered the three items. He said he expressed interest and helped arrange a transfer of munitions to the Zellwood home of Frank Swanner, a pilot who had earlier testified for the prosecution that the defendants tried to hire him for the bombing.

Bosch claimed the CIA had given hima a "green light" for the mission. His attorneys argued that since the raid was to be carried out from a Caribbean base, it did not violate U.S. neutrality laws.

Copyright (c) 1966 United Press International

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