Latin America & Caribbean

Cuba jails Angel Carromero over Oswaldo Paya death

Angel Carromero (C) is brought to trial in Bayamo, Cuba, 5 Oct 2012
Image caption Mr Carromero (C) had denied allegations of speeding

Cuba has sentenced a Spanish national to four years in jail over a car crash that led to the death of high-profile dissident Oswaldo Paya.

Angel Carromero, who was driving, had been accused of manslaughter after the crash in July, which also killed another Cuban activist, Harold Cepero.

During the trial, he expressed "profound sorrow for the unfortunate accident that took place".

But he denied prosecutors' claims that he had been speeding.

Oswaldo Paya's family has always claimed the crash was no accident, the BBC's Sarah Rainsford reports from Havana.

They believe the car was forced off the road and say the dissident received numerous death threats for his activity, she adds.

Possible appeal

Mr Carromero, 27, is a member of the youth wing of Spain's ruling Popular Party.

He had been in Cuba to meet and support dissidents connected to Mr Paya when the car he was driving hit a tree and crashed near the eastern city of Bayamo on 22 July.

Mr Paya and Mr Cepero had been sitting in the back at the time. Mr Carromero and a Swedish activist were injured.

Prosecutors had been seeking a seven-year term for vehicular manslaughter.

State media said the sentence reflected the "gravity" of the incident and cited the "careless conduct" of the driver for causing the crash; but said both Mr Carromero and prosecutors can appeal the decision.

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