Spaniard jailed in Cuba to finish sentence at home
MADRID (AP) — A Spaniard sentenced in Cuba to prison for the death of a prominent dissident will fly back to Spain to serve the rest of his four-year term, authorities in both countries said Friday.
Angel Carromero Barrios, a Spanish regional political youth leader, was driving a car July 22 that lost control and crashed, killing Oswaldo Paya, a passenger. Paya was a well-known opponent of the Cuban government.
Paya's widow had asked that the Spaniard not be prosecuted, but a court eventually sentenced him to jail in October for the equivalent of vehicular manslaughter. Carromero later asked to be able to serve his sentence in Spain.
On Friday, Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said Carromero would return to Spain. Cuba also confirmed the decision after negotiations concluded Thursday between the two countries' justice ministries. Neither specified a date for the transfer.
"Both delegations agreed that upon conclusion of the formal legal procedures, the aforementioned offender will be transferred to Spanish territory," the Cuban Foreign Ministry's legal director Manuel de Jesus Pirez Perez said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.
Ofelia Acevedo, Paya's widow, has repeatedly said she does not believe government investigators' account of the accident.
"For me, Carromero never should have been in prison," Acevedo said. "I don't accept the official version of this tragic story."
Acevedo said she was happy to see the 27-year-old Carromero leave Cuba's penal system, adding that she hoped he would be able to tell the truth once he arrived on Spanish soil.
Aron Modig, a Swedish national who was also in the car at the time of the crash, said via Twitter that he had heard of Cuba's decision and that he is "very happy and relieved about it."
Associated Press correspondents Peter Orsi in Havana, Cuba, and Karl Ritter in Stockholm, Sweden, contributed to this report.