Motion to take Veloso testimony granted
The Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court (RTC) has granted the prosecution motion to take the deposition of convicted drug trafficker Mary Jane Veloso on April 27, his lawyer said on Saturday.
In a 4-page resolution dated February 13, Hon. Anarica J. Castillo-Reyes, Presiding Judge of Branch 88 of the RTC of Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija said the Court has not received or is not aware of any Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or any Writ of Preliminary Injunction that would prevent the conduct of Mary Jane’s deposition in Indonesia.
“Almost two years after granted reprieve, Philippine trial court finally grants prosecution motion to take testimony of Mary Jane Veloso on April 27, 2017,” lawyer Edre Olalia, president of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, which is representing Veloso, said.
Olalia said the order would mean that Veloso’s “full story will be taken to evidence in court in the cases versus her illegal recruiters.”
The deposition, he said, would be taken at the Yogyakarta prison and upon due and proper arrangement with Judge Castillo-Reyes as observer, NUPL lawyers, state prosecutors from the Department of Justice, representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the defense counsels of her recruiters.
“This is another legal vindication for Mary Jane and the Veloso family. Finally, after protracted and tedious legal wrangling over quite novel circumstances, Mary Jane will be able to freely tell her whole story and cruel ordeal which will be officially considered by the Philippine trial court,” he said.
He said Veloso “is the most credible and competent witness that could prove not only the guilt of the accused in these Philippine cases but, eventually and more importantly, the full and unabbreviated circumstances that led to her conviction in Indonesia.”
During the scheduled deposition, Olalia said Veloso would “answer the exhaustive written questions prepared by her Filipino private lawyers which will be directly propounded to her by a Philippine consul with the facilitation and cooperation of Indonesian authorities.”
“The deposition will be taken at almost the exact date two years ago when Mary Jane was magnanimously granted by the Indonesian government a last-minute standing reprieve from the death penalty after furious and intense efforts and overwhelming clamor to save her life from the gallows,” he said.
Veloso was set to be executed along with eight drug convicts in Indonesia on April 2015 but was given a reprieve after her alleged trafficker surfaced.
Veloso was arrested with 2.6 kilograms of heroin at Adisucipto International Airport in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2010.
“The Veloso family prays that no further delays or impediments shall come along the way. To them, justice that is delayed is, much more in fact than in law, justice that is denied,” Olalia said. CDG
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