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AFP
November 10, 2018
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Manila hands Imelda Marcos lengthy prison term for graft

World

AFP
November 10, 2018

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MANILA: Imelda Marcos was found guilty of corruption on Friday and handed a lengthy prison term in a rare conviction for the former Philippine first lady accused with her late dictator husband of embezzling billions of dollars from state coffers.

However, it was unlikely 89-year-old Marcos would spend much time behind bars as she is allowed to appeal the ruling and can remain free on bail as long as the conviction is not final.The verdict from the anti-graft Sandiganbayan court orders her to serve a minimum of six years behind bars for each of the seven charges that the Marcoses funnelled roughly $200 million through Swiss foundations decades ago. This leaves her potentially facing decades in prison, however the exact length of the term was not immediately clear.

Ferdinand Marcos, who along with his cronies was accused of pilfering $10 billion from the Philippines, fled with his family to the US after a people’s uprising ended his 20-year rule in 1986.

Marcos died in 1989 while still in exile. But his heirs later returned to Manila and have since staged a political comeback. Imelda Marcos is currently a congresswoman. As a government official in the Marcos administration, Imelda was barred by law from having any outside financial interests, including in the Swiss foundations.

“The couple opened all those accounts in Switzerland, and they used pseudonyms to hide their ownership. The president chose William Saunders and Imelda Marcos used Jane Ryan,” special prosecutor Ryan Quilala told reporters.

Marcos, in a written statement to reporters, said her lawyer Manuel Lazaro plans to lodge an appeal with the anti-graft court. “He is presently studying the decision and has advised us that he intends to file a motion for reconsideration,” she added.

Marcos critics rejoiced at the news of the conviction, which came nearly three decades after the case was filed in 1991. “This points to how long and therefore frustrating the Philippine judicial system is,” said opposition lawmaker Francis Pangilinan.—AFPPompeo voices concerns with China but says no ‘Cold War’

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday voiced concern about China’s military policies and human rights record in high-level talks but insisted that Washington was not seeking a “Cold War.” “The United States is not pursuing a Cold War or containment policy with China. Rather, we want to ensure that China act responsibly and fairly in support of security and prosperity in each of our two countries,” Pompeo said after talks with top Chinese officials in Washington.

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