Imelda Mar­cos faces years be­hind bars af­ter be­ing found guilty of £152m fraud

The Herald - - INTERNATIONAL -

A PHILIP­PINE court has found the coun­try’s for­mer first lady Imelda Mar­cos guilty of cor­rup­tion charges and or­dered her ar­rest.

Mar­cos is to ap­peal against the con­vic­tion in a bid to avoid jail and los­ing her seat in con­gress.

A spe­cial Sandi­gan­bayan court sen­tenced Mar­cos, 89, to serve six to 11 years in prison for each of the seven counts of vi­o­lat­ing an anti-cor­rup­tion law when she il­le­gally fun­nelled about £152 mil­lion to Swiss foun­da­tions in the

1970s as met­ro­pol­i­tan Manila gover­nor.

Nei­ther Mar­cos nor any­one rep­re­sent­ing her at­tended yes­ter­day’s court hear­ing.

Mar­cos said in a state­ment that the de­ci­sion was be­ing stud­ied by one of her lawyers who no­ti­fied the Mar­cos fam­ily that he in­tends to ap­peal against the de­ci­sion. Anti-mar­cos ac­tivists and hu­man rights vic­tims wel­comed the con­vic­tion as long over­due.

The court dis­qual­i­fied Mar­cos from hold­ing pub­lic of­fice, but she can re­main a mem­ber of the pow­er­ful house of rep­re­sen­ta­tives while ap­peal­ing against the de­ci­sion. Her con­gres­sional term will end next year but she has reg­is­tered to run to re­place her daugh­ter as gover­nor of the north­ern Ilo­cos Norte prov­ince.

Imelda Mar­cos’ hus­band, ex-pres­i­dent Fer­di­nand Mar­cos, was ousted by an army­backed “peo­ple power” re­volt in 1986. He died in self-ex­ile in Hawaii in 1989 but his widow and chil­dren re­turned to the Philip­pines. Most have been elected to pub­lic of­fice in an im­pres­sive po­lit­i­cal come­back.

Gov­ern­ment pros­e­cu­tor Ryan

Quilala told re­porters that Mar­cos and her hus­band opened and man­aged Swiss foun­da­tions in vi­o­la­tion of the Philip­pine Con­sti­tu­tion, us­ing aliases in a bid to hide stolen funds. The Mar­coses have been ac­cused of plun­der­ing the gov­ern­ment’s cof­fers amid crush­ing poverty through­out the coun­try.

They have de­nied any wrong­do­ing and have suc­cess­fully fought many other cor­rup­tion cases.

Imelda Mar­cos, an ally of Pres­i­dent

Ro­drigo Duterte was ac­quit­ted in three other cases, filed in 1991. She was once con­victed of a cor­rup­tion case in 1993, but the supreme court later cleared her.

„ Imelda Mar­cos, 89, was found guilty by court.

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