Cuba to try U.S. citizen for spying on March 4   2011-02-25 13:01:33 FeedbackPrintRSS

HAVANA, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. citizen Alan Gross, accused of spying and supporting anti-Castro groups in Cuba, will go on trial on March 4, Cuban authorities said Thursday.

Cuban prosecutors filed a preliminary charge against Gross for "acts against the independence and territorial integrity of Cuba," said a report posted on the official website Cubadebate.

In accordance with Cuba's Penal Code, prosecutors are seeking a 20-year prison term for Gross.

The information had been sent to the U.S. government through diplomatic channels, and Gross's family members and lawyers may attend the trial, the website said.

Gross was arrested on Dec. 3, 2009 at the Havana airport on charges of providing Internet satellite communications equipment to anti-Castro groups based on the island. He was kept for a year without formal charges.

Washington said Gross was an employee of the "Development Alternatives Company," who was helping Cuba's Jewish community link up with its counterparts abroad.

However, Adela Dworin, leader of the Cuban Jewish community, said in December that she had never met with Gross.

Gross's wife, Judy Gross, wrote in August to Cuban President Paul Castro to express her husband's regret for his work in Cuba.

She also criticized the White House for not doing enough and described Gross as "a victim caught in the crossfire between the two foes of the old Cold War."

The U.S. State Department launched a plan recently for swapping Gross for one of the five Cubans held in prison in the United States since 1998.

Gross's release was one of the main issues raised by the U.S. delegation to the fourth round of Cuba-U.S. talks on migration issues held on Jan. 13.

Editor: Xiong Tong
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