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World Briefing / Grenada

7 jailed in 1983 coup are freed

September 06, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Seven men convicted of killing Grenada's leader in the 1983 coup that led to a U.S. invasion were freed from prison, the last of 17 who had been sentenced for the crime.

Dozens of relatives cheered and applauded as former Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard and six other men emerged from the crumbling 17th century prison where they were held for nearly 26 years.

Leftist Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, four Cabinet ministers and six supporters were shot on Oct. 19, 1983, by members of their own New Jewel movement, followers of Coard who demanded more radical policies.

Six days later, thousands of U.S. troops invaded the island on orders of President Reagan, who said he sought to protect American medical students and to sever Grenada's growing ties with Cuba.

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