An anti-Castro Cuban militant accused of bombing a Cuban airliner in 1976 has pleaded innocent to charges of lying to U.S. immigration authorities in his bid to become a U.S. citizen.

Luis Posada Carriles is being held in a Texas jail in the western U.S., as he faces possible deportation. He has been behind bars since 2005 for illegally entering the U.S.

Immigration authorities say Posada Carriles lied to them about how he snuck into the United States from Mexico.

Posada Carriles is a former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency operative. It is not clear where he will wind up if he is deported. A federal judge has ruled Posada Carriles cannot be sent back to Cuba or Venezuela, saying he could be tortured or killed. The Cuban-born, naturalized Venezuelan is wanted in both countries on charges of bombing the Cuban jet. The attack left 73 people dead.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.