US top court won't hear appeal by American Jew formerly imprisoned in Cuba

Alan Gross sued the US government for negligence after serving 5 years in Cuban prison for providing Internet equipment to Jewish Cubans under a US program that Cuba viewed as subversive.

April 7, 2015 11:48
1 minute read.
alan gross

Alan Gross pictured with his wife Judy while addressing a news conference in Washington after his release from Cuba,December 17, 2014.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

WASHINGTON - The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal filed by Alan Gross, the US contractor imprisoned in Cuba for five years who had sued the U.S. government for negligence.

Gross, 65, was released in December as part of the recent thaw in relations between the United States and Cuba. Gross, jailed in Cuba in December 2009, was serving a 15-year sentence for providing Internet equipment to Jewish Cubans under a U.S. program that Cuba viewed as subversive.

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He and his wife sued the US government in 2012, claiming it had sent him to Cuba without proper training or supervision.

A district court judge threw out the lawsuit, and the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed in a November 2014 ruling. The court said the US government could not be sued in part because the claims concerned acts that took place in another country.

Separately, Gross is due to receive $3.2 million as part of a settlement reached with the US Agency for International Development and the contractor for which he worked, Bethesda, Maryland-based DAI.

During five trips to Cuba in 2009, Gross imported banned satellite communications devices and other high-tech gear in his luggage and helped install it at Jewish centers in Havana, Santiago and Camaguey. Cuban officials arrested him in his hotel room shortly before he had planned to return home.

His release helped pave the way toward restoring US diplomatic ties with Cuba. Gross attended US President Barack Obama's State of the Union address as a guest of first lady Michelle Obama in January.

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