Cuban Court Denies Maryland Man's Appeal - NBC4 Washington

Cuban Court Denies Maryland Man's Appeal



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    FILE - In this file handout photo provided by the Gross family shows Alan and Judy Gross. Gross went to trial March 4, 2011 in Cuba on charges he sought to undermine Cuba's government by bringing communications equipment onto the island illegally. State-run media say a Cuban court has found U.S. contractor guilty of crimes against the state and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. (AP Photo/Gross Family, File)

    The Cuban Supreme Court has ruled a Maryland man must serve the remainder of his 15-year sentence.

    Alan Gross was arrested in 2009. Cuban authorities accused him of bringing illegal computer equipment into the country to promote political dissent.

    Gross and his lawyers argue he was just trying to bring the Internet to Cuba’s Jewish community.

    State Department spokesperson Mark Toner issued a statement saying, “We deplore the ruling of the Cuban Supreme Court upholding the conviction…(Gross) was in Cuba to help the Cuban people connect with the rest of the world.”

    The decision ends Gross’ legal opportunities for release. He and the U.S. State Department must now argue on humanitarian grounds to release him.

    Gross has lost 100 pounds since being imprisoned, and many of his family members have dealt with serious illnesses during his incarceration.

    Toner added “The United States remains focused on and concerned about the welfare of Alan Gross. We will continue to use every available diplomatic channel to press for his immediate release.”