Jailed American addresses Cuban top court in appeal

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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