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SISON SUPPORTERS. Filipino and foreign supporters of Philippine communist leader Jose Maria Sison stage a rally outside the Paleis van Justitie asking the Dutch court to drop the case against him for allegedly masterminding the killings of former comrades Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabada. INQUIRER.NET/VERONICA UY




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Communist leader Sison asks Dutch court to drop case

Judge to issue ruling on June 10 -- lawyer

By Veronica Uy
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 03:37:00 05/21/2008

Filed Under: Crime, Law & Justice

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands -- Philippine communist leader Jose Maria Sison on Tuesday asked the Dutch court to drop the case against him for his alleged involvement in the killing of his former comrades Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara.

After the hearing, the court, according to Sison?s lawyer Michiel Pestman, said it will issue a ruling on or before June 10.

Pestman said the prosecution, on the other hand, asked for an extension of the investigation period.

?The request for extension is necessary because they have not got anything, otherwise, they would have indicted him already,? he said. ?This is a desperate attempt to save the case.?

Pestman said the court decision on or before June 10 may indict Sison or drop the case.

But Sison?s lawyer is optimistic about the case going their way because the prosecution submitted a new set of evidence that were ?more of the same,? like the structure of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

?There is no evidence whatsoever linking Sison to the killings,? he said.

?They admitted that there would be no smoking gun [against Sison] and they would have to construct a case with circumstantial evidence,? he added.

Pestman said that under ordinary circumstances, Sison?s case should have been dropped ?a long time ago?There are higher forces at work because obviously this is not an ordinary case. There?s a lot of political pressure involved.?

Dutch investigators went to the Philippines in February and interviewed some witnesses, he said, but even then, they ?did not find any witness? to prove their case.



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