Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Davao court acquits JI’s wife of illegal bomb charges

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 4): Davao court acquits JI’s wife of illegal bomb charges

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) here on Wednesday has absolved the wife of a suspected Jemaah Islamiyah of bomb charges due to insufficient evidence.

In a decision, RTC Branch 14 Presiding Judge George Omelio granted the demurrer to evidence filed by accused Annabelle Nieva Lee, wife of suspected Malaysian terrorist Mohd Noor Fikrie Bin Abd Kahar through her lawyer Atty. Ben Jerome Tesiorna.

Lee was standing trial to the crime of illegal possession of explosives after a backpack containing an improvised explosive device was found in their possession.

Court records showed that the couple checked in at Sampaguita Tourist Inn located along Mt. Mayon Street, this city bringing with them the bomb but the police and the intelligence community were alerted of their presence, thus, an operation was launched at around 7:00 p.m. on December 14, 2012.

Kahar was shot dead when he was about to evade the authorities who accosted them at the hotel lobby. He even raised a cellphone telling the authorities that a bomb will explode should they proceed in arresting him.

Kahar then grabbed the backpack from his wife and ran towards the People's Park where he was cornered and shot dead.

During the bail hearing, the wife asserted that she is not aware of her husband’s illegal activities.

After assessing the arguments, the court ruled that the evidence of the prosecution is not sufficient to deprive the woman of his right to bail thus, she was allowed to post P200,000 bail.

The bail was even reduced to P100,000 but still the woman was detained at the Naval Intelligence and Security Group Eastern Mindanao in Camp Panacan, since she have no money to pay the bail.

After the bail resolution, Lee’s lawyer opted to file a demurrer to evidence asserting that the evidence of the prosecution is insufficient to convict the woman to the offense charged, thus, there’s no need for them to present evidence for her defense.

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