Sandiganbayan orders Jinggoy Estrada to explain US travel invite
The Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division has given former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada three days to comment on the Ombudsman’s appeal to recall his travel authority and cite him for contempt for claiming that he would speak before a group of good governance advocates in the United States.
The division, chaired by Associate Justice Rafael Lagos, issued the order during a trial hearing on Monday of Estrada’s P183.8-million plunder case.
The Sandiganbayan issued the order despite the request of Estrada’s lawyer, Sabino Acut, for the prosecution to present a witness first to authenticate the statement of the US Pinoys for Good Governance disowning a Feb. 7 invitation to Estrada and denying that a May 20 meeting would even take place.
Ombudsman prosecutors had filed two motions contesting the court’s permission for Estrada to leave the country from April 30 to May 30, which was granted on March 26. —Vince F. Nonato
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