Prosecutors to file case in court against Bella, Griffiths on Monday
BELLA Ruby Santos and her British partner Ian Charles Griffiths have to face trial for the kidnap-slay of 6-year-old Ellah Joy Pique.
Prosecutors denied the couple’s motion for reconsideration to reverse their indictment on charges of kidnapping with homicide.
The criminal case will be filed in court on Monday, July 4.
A three-member panel of prosecutors on June 30 ruled that “no new and substantial matters “ were raised in the motion of reconsideration.
“The issues raised have been exhaustively discussed and taken into consideration,” said Assistant Provincial Prosecutors Anabelle Robles, Jose Edwin Renegado and Maria Luisa Ong.
The resolution was approved by Deputy Cebu Provincial Prosecutor England Joseph Berciles.
The panel also said the pleading is “dismissible” because lawyers of the accused failed to give a copy of the motion for reconsideration to the counsel of Ellah Joy’s father, Renante.
Defense lawyer Rameses Villagonzalo yesterday went to the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office to file additional evidence to challenge the claims of police witnesses.
But this was deemed moot by prosecutors since the motion for reconsideration was already denied.
“With regards to credibility of the witnesses and the submission of the DNA results, the same should be properly addressed to the trial court in a full-blown trial,” said the panel.
Lawyer Inocencio dela Cerna, lead counsel for the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas, said he was elated by the ruling.
He said it was a “victory” for Task Force Ellah Joy.
“We were confident that the motion will be denied,” he said.
Santos and Griffiths’ Makati-based lawyer Ana Luz Cristal said they will file a petition for review before the Department of Justice to contest the findings of the prosecutors.
The defense lawyer said she will also ask the judge handling the case to determine whether there is probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest against the respondents and ask the court to defer the issuance of an arrest warrant.
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