December 6, 2013
HAVANA (AP) - Cuban state media say prosecutors will seek a 20-year jail term for detained American contractor Alan Gross for "acts against the integrity and independence" of Cuba.
The state-controlled website Cubadebate says that a trial date will be set shortly and that Gross's family and U.S. diplomats will be allowed to attend.
Gross has been in jail since December 2009 on suspicion of spying. The U.S. government and his family say he was distributing satellite telephones to the island's Jewish community. They have long called for him to be released, or at least brought to trial.
Friday's decision to seek such a long jail term seems certain to be a major blow to U.S.-Cuban relations, which had seemed to be improving only a few weeks ago.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)