Imelda Mar­cos con­victed of £154m fraud

The Daily Telegraph - - World news - Our For­eign Staff

IMELDA MAR­COS was found guilty of cor­rup­tion yes­ter­day and handed a lengthy prison term in a rare con­vic­tion for the for­mer Philip­pines first lady, who has been ac­cused, with her late dic­ta­tor hus­band, of em­bez­zling bil­lions of dol­lars from state cof­fers.

The spe­cial anti-graft Sandi­gan­bayan court sen­tenced Mar­cos, 89, to serve six to 11 years in prison for each of the seven counts of vi­o­lat­ing an an­ti­cor­rup­tion law when she il­le­gally fun­nelled about $200 mil­lion (£154 mil­lion) to Swiss foun­da­tions in the Sev­en­ties as the gover­nor of Met­ro­pol­i­tan Manila.

She is al­lowed to ap­peal against the rul­ing and can re­main free on bail as long as the con­vic­tion is not fi­nal.

Fer­di­nand Mar­cos, who along with his cronies was ac­cused of pil­fer­ing $10bil­lion, fled with his fam­ily to the United Staes af­ter a peo­ple’s up­ris­ing ended his 20-year rule in 1986.

Mar­cos died in 1989 while still in ex­ile but his heirs later re­turned to Manila and have since staged a po­lit­i­cal come­back. Imelda Mar­cos is cur­rently a con­gress­woman.

As a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial in her hus­band’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, Mar­cos was barred by law from hav­ing any out­side fi­nan­cial in­ter­ests, a re­stric­tion that in­cluded the Swiss foun­da­tions.

Mar­cos, in a writ­ten state­ment to re­porters, said Manuel Lazaro, her lawyer, plans to lodge an ap­peal with the anti-graft court.

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