SC orders Sandiganbayan to reraffle Dichaves plunder case
The Supreme Court has directed the Sandiganbayan to immediately reraffle the plunder case of businessman Jaime Dichaves in preparation for a full-blown trial. In a resolution dated Feb. 14, the Supreme Court noted the request of Sandiganbayan presiding justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang to reconstitute a special division to handle Dichavez’ case.
Instead, the anti-graft court was ordered “to reraffle criminal case number 26558 with respect to accused Jaime Dichaves and Yolanda Ricaforte among the regular divisions of the Sandiganbayan.”
The businessman was charged with allegedly conspiring with then President Joseph Estrada to amass ill-gotten wealth during his term.
Dichaves claimed to be the owner of the dummy “Jose Velarde” accounts, where the ill-gotten wealth was allegedly deposited. In a 24-page decision penned by associate justice Marvic Leonen, the Supreme Court affirmed earlier findings of probable cause to charge Dichavez. —Julie M. Aurelio
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