Saturday, August 6, 2011


HAVANA - Cuba's highest court upheld a U.S. government subcontractor's 15-year prison sentence for crimes against the state.

The ruling Friday means Alan Gross, 62, a Maryland native who has been in jail since his arrest in December 2009, has no judicial recourse. It leaves him, his family and U.S. officials hoping instead for a release on humanitarian grounds.

Gross was arrested in December 2009 and found guilty in March after he secretly supplied the island's small Jewish community with satellite TV gear.

He was working for Development Alternatives, a company in Bethesda, Md. which had a $6 million federal contract through USAID to promote democracy in Cuba.

U.S. Officials said ties with Cuba cannot improve while Gross remains in prison.

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