Jailed American addresses Cuban top court in appeal

July 22, 2011 19:21


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HAVANA - Imprisoned US aid contractor Alan Gross addressed Cuba's Supreme Court on Friday during the hearing of his appeal against a 15-year sentence for crimes against the Cuban state, authorities said.

Gross, 62, was allowed to speak for himself at the closed-door hearing after his defense lawyer presented oral arguments against his conviction and sentencing in March following his arrest in Havana in late 2009.

The detention and jailing of the Jewish-American aid contractor, whom Cuba's government has accused of being part of US government efforts to subvert communist rule on the island, has soured US-Cuban relations and stalled US President Barack Obama's moves to forge better ties.

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