Wednesday, November 23, 2011

St. Petersburg Times, January 3, 1968, "Cuban Bomb Case Is Dropped as Witness' Value Questioned" by United Press International.

MIAMI - Federal Judge C. Clyde Atkins dismissed yesterday bomb plot charges against Orlando Bosch and five other members of a militant Cuban exile organization because the government's chief witness destroyed the prosecution's case.

Dismissal of the three-count indictment against the men, accused of "conspiring to bomb British, Canadian, Spanish and other ships carrying supplies to Cuba," came at the request of Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Bierman as the case was called to trial.

Bierman told the judge that the government's chief witness had had "conversations" with Bosch after the indictments were returned last July 19 and thus destroyed his value as a prosecution witness.

The witness was later identified as Arthur Girteit, 25, a private pilot who was believed to be somewhere in Pennsylvania yesterday.

The indictment said that last January, two Cubans and Girteit, were arrested at Tamiami Airport as they were about to board Girteit's twin-engine Piper Apache.

Custom agents and deputy sheriffs made the arrest to climax a plot that began the previous December, according to Bierman.

The plane, Bierman said, was loaded with three 100-pound bombs, three one-gallon jugs containing phosphorous and water - an incendiary mixture - an M1 rifle and 80 rounds of ammunition, a .45 caliber automatic pistol and 22 rounds of ammunition.

After dismissal, Bosch told newsmen Girteit had contacted him by telephone in early August and told him he was willing to testify he had been acting as an undercover federal agent to get evidence against Bosch and other members of the Cuban Exile organization which Bosch heads.

Bosch said he informed his attorney of the call and met and talked with Girteit on Aug. 4 at a Miami restaurant.

The federal government also has conspiracy charges pending against Bosch in Georgia.

Winning the dismissal yesterday besides Bosch were Marcos Rodriguez Ramos and Barbaro Balan Garcia, the two men arrested with the armed aircraft; Louis Bertot, Jose Antonio Mulet and Jose Diaz Morejon.

Copyright (c) 1968 United Press International

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