MIAMI (AP) _ Orlando Bosch, the anti-Castro activist acquitted three times of planning the 1976 explosion of a Cuban jetliner that killed 73 people, returned here from Venezuela today to face charges on an unrelated federal parole violation.
Bosch, who spent 11 years in a Venezuelan prison despite the acquittals, was scheduled for a hearing later today before a U.S. magistrate in Miami.
The pediatrician, considered a hero in the exile Cuban community for his anti-Castro activities, arrived from Caracas late this morning.
Bosch, 60, was found innocent in Venezuela of the bombing charges for a third time on Aug. 7 and was held in a secret location by Venezuelan police for security reasons while awaiting an appeal by the prosecution. But no appeal was presented within the 90-day limit and the acquittal held.
In November, a judge told the Venezuelan Immigration Department that the legal ban on Bosch leaving that country had been lifted.
″He came specifically to surrender himself,″ his attorney, Hank Adorno, said today at Miami International Airport. ″We were the ones who notified the U.S. Marshal’s office.″
His daughters, Lourdes Bosch Blinder and Myriam Bosch, chattered excitedly as they waited for their father. Ms. Blinder said she last saw him 10 months ago when he was still imprisoned in Venezuela.
″I’m ecstatic,″ she said.
Adorno said he expected Bosch to be taken into custody immediately but hoped to get him out on bond.
He noted that Bosch had voluntarily returned to face the charges on the 1974 parole violation and had fled only because his life was in danger.
Venezuelans Hernan Ricardo and Freddy Lugo were sentenced to 20 years for the 1976 bombing. A fourth defendant, Cuban-born Luis Posada Carriles, escaped from jail in 1986 and reportedly was fighting with the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
Bosch left the United States in 1974 while on parole on charges of a bazooka attack against a Polish freighter moored in Miami.