Monday, June 18, 2007

Grenada Prepares to Resentence 13 Inmates Who Overthrew Revolutionary Government in 1983

Grenada prepares to resentence 13 inmates who overthrew government in 1983

2007-06-17 02:26:59

ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada (AP) - Grenada is preparing to resentence 13 prisoners previously sentenced to death for killings in a 1983 coup that triggered a U.S. invasion.

Authorities are preparing a trade center to accommodate the hundreds of people expected to observe the high profile legal proceeding, which begins Monday in the Grenadian capital of St. George's, police spokesman Troy Garvey said Saturday.

The prisoners, including former Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard, are accused of killing the southern Caribbean island's premier, four Cabinet members and six supporters.

The resentencing was ordered in February by the London-based Privy Council, the highest court of appeal for many former British colonies. The court struck down the 1986 death sentences and ordered the resentencing by island's Supreme Court.

Attorney General Elvin Nimrod says the government will do everything in its power to keep the 13 men in prison.

The inmates were among 17 whose 1983 coup led the U.S. to invade Grenada. Coard's wife was freed in 2000 to undergo cancer treatment, and three other conspirators were not given death sentences and released early for good behavior in the slayings of former socialist leader Maurice Bishop and the others.

During the group's 1986 trial, prosecutors said Coard sent soldiers to kill Bishop on Oct. 19, 1983, in a coup by hard-liners of the premier's Marxist movement.

Six days after the killings, thousands of U.S. troops stormed the Caribbean island on a mission that then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan said would restore order, protect American medical students and prevent a buildup of Cuban military advisers and weapons.

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