February 10, 1999
Prosecutor's office throws out complaints against Castro

                  PARIS (AP) -- The Paris prosecutor's office threw out three complaints
                  filed against Cuban leader Fidel Castro for crimes against humanity and drug
                  trafficking, judicial sources said Wednesday.

                  French photographer Pierre Golendorf, who spent 21/2-years in a Cuban
                  jail, and Cuban artist Lazaro Jordana, jailed four years for illegally leaving
                  the country, filed two of the complaints last month.

                  Both men accuse Castro of crimes against humanity, including torture and

                  A third complaint, for drug trafficking, was filed by Ileana de la Guardia, the
                  exiled daughter of Cuban Col. Antonio de la Guardia, who was convicted
                  and executed in 1989 along with three other officials for allegedly smuggling

                  De la Guardia said earlier this year that Cuban drug trafficking "was a matter
                  of state, organized by the highest echelons of power in the country. ...It's
                  impossible that Fidel Castro was unaware of this."

                  The prosecutor's office rejected the complaints in part on the grounds that
                  they went beyond its authority, said the sources, speaking on condition of

                  The prosecutor ruled that he was not competent to handle the matter
                  because, in France, the notion of "crimes against humanity" is reserved only
                  to World War II crimes as defined by the Nuremberg Tribunal, the sources

                  In the drug case, the prosecutor ruled that the complaint did not hold up
                  because Ileana de la Guardia could not show that she was hurt by the drug

                  Investigations, however, could still move forward if the magistrate in the case
                  rejects the prosecutor's opinion.

                  In November, a Spanish court rejected petition by a Cuban exile group for a
                  probe into allegations of genocide, terrorism and torture filed against Castro.

                    Copyright 1999 The Associated Press.