Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Lawyer wants gag order vs Gonzalez on Subic rape case

THE PRIVATE prosecutor in the Subic rape case will ask the Makati City Regional Trial Court Judge Benjamin Pozon to bar Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez from issuing public statements on the politically sensitive case.

Lawyer Evalyn Ursua, alleging that Gonzalez’s one sided" pronouncements could prejudice the case, said was preparing a motion to inhibit against the Department of Justice chief.

She said that Gonzalez’s statements give the public the impression that the government is favoring the four US Marines accused of raping a Filipina in November last year.

In a move that drew public criticism, Gonzalez downgraded in April the charges against Lance Corporals Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis and Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier from being perpetrators to accessories, saying: "There is no evidence of conspiracy."

But Pozon rejected this, and made the three Marines as principal accused together Lance Corporal Daniel Smith.

Meanwhile, Ursua’s colleague, lawyer Rene Saguisag said that the government prosecutors should explain why they failed to attend the trial.

"They are making a mockery of the proceedings," Saguisag said.

By Tetch Torres - Manila Times


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