Ex-Sulu gov facing charges for kidnap of German scribe
Former Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan and three others have asked for an extra month to answer the complaints against them over the July 2000 kidnapping of German correspondent Andreas Lorenz.
Tan, Ahmadjan Hassan, Dolphy Hairal Abdulkahal and Gulamo Uddin filed a motion on Nov. 3 with the Ombudsman asking that they be given until Dec. 6 to submit their counter-affidavits.
In their Nov. 3 motion, they said that they received the Ombudsman’s order for them to refute the allegations only on Oct. 26 with a deadline of only 10 days.
Also named respondents were Salip Abdullah, a “Commander Daga” and a “Commander Asbi,” as well as several unidentified persons.
The Ombudsman has begun investigating the May 12 complaint of Temogen Tulawie accusing Tan of kidnapping Lorenz, a correspondent for the news magazine Der Spiegel, on July 2, 2000, and holding him for ransom.
Lorenz was one of 10 Western journalists seized on June 2, 2000, by Abu Sayyaf bandits while trying to visit hostages earlier taken from a Malaysian resort. He and other journalists were released one day after reportedly paying $25,000 in ransom.
While en route from Jolo to Zamboanga, rebels kidnapped him the second time, on July 2, 2000, after tricking him that his help was needed to save the life of another German hostage, Renate Wallert.
Tulawie, whose family is a bitter political rival of the Tans, accused the former governor of conspiring with kidnappers and pretending to negotiate with them to earn from the ransom payments.
Tulawie claimed that Tan had insisted that Der Speigel foreign editor Olaf Ihlau only talk and directly negotiate with him, or else Lorenz could get harmed. He said it was Tan who received the ransom payment from Ihlau.
Lorenz was released unharmed after 25 days in captivity. He later published an account from a diary he kept during captivity identifying three of his captors, including one who used the alias “Philip.” Tulawie claimed “Philip” was actually Salip Abdullah, whom Lorenz supposedly met at the then governor’s house.
Tulawie also submitted Ihlau’s affidavit, executed on April 12 before Consul Adrian Elmer S. Cruz of the Philippine Embassy in Berlin, to support his allegations against Tan and the others.
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