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Sison mulls next move after losing appeal in Dutch court

By LOUI GALICIA
ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

After the District Court in The Hague rejected Jose Maria Sison's appeal to prevent the request of the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office to continue its investigation until December, the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines next move is expected to be to ask for the end of the investigation, reported ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau.

Sison filed an appeal on May 20 against the continued investigation on charges related to the murders of erstwhile allies Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara but the Dutch court ruled June 5 in favor of the Dutch Public Prosecutor's Office.

However, the Dutch court found that the Dutch prosecutors still have not presented sufficient evidence.

Public Prosecutor's Office spokesman Wim de Bruin couldn't be reached for comments.

Sison: No prima facie evidence

"Yung sinabi ng mga huwes na walang prima facie evidence. Minentain nila yung decision dati ng Court of Appeals noong Oct. 3 pero without any date stated. Binibigyan pa din ng daan ang prosecution na mag-investigate, " Sison explained.

Sison was not disappointed as he said he is already immune to the persistence of the Dutch prosecutors.

He was arrested on August 28 but was released on Sept. 13 because a Dutch court said it did not find sufficient evidence to keep him in custody.

Dutch prosecutors however continued its investigation of Sison and continued to file motions in court to detain him. Court decisions favored Sison on Sept. 23, Oct 3 and Nov. 29 when the investigative judge closed the criminal pre-investigation case.

All this time, the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office vowed to continue its investigation and said that Sison remains a suspect.

"Ok lang. Ang maganda sa decision eh ‘yong ina-affirm na walang prima facie evidence. Ang sabi ng huwes daw sa judgment eh there's no prima facie evidence but the prosecutor has still the discretion to continue the investigation. But we'll make another demand for the end of the investigation," Sison told ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau.

Seek definite timetable for end of probe

Sison said that when his lawyer Michiel Pestman comes back from Cambodia, they will file another case, demanding a specific date for the end of the investigation.

Sison also said that up until this time, the Prosecution has presented nothing new but a mountain of paper being dumped to the court.

He maintains that there is no incriminating evidence that will prove that he ordered the killings of Kintanar and Tabara from The Netherlands.

Blasts Agence France-Presse report

Sison meanwhile said, in a statement, that an earlier report by international wires agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) was "inaccurate and misleading."

The AFP reports said: A Dutch court gave prosecutors the go-ahead Thursday to pursue murder charges against Philippines communist leader Jose Maria Sison, despite an earlier dismissal of the case."

Sison explained that the Dutch court’s decision was "to allow the [Dutch] public prosecutor's office to have time to continue and complete the investigation it is undertaking and subsequently decide whether or not to file a formal criminal charge."

The decision of the District Court of The Hague, Sison said, "acknowledges that so far there is no prima facie or incriminating evidence against me."

The CPP founding chair said in particular that the Dutch court "has affirmed my position that since the examining judge (rechter-commissaris) decided to close the preliminary investigation on 21 November 2007 the prosecution has not turned up any evidence to overturn the decision of the Court of Appeal on October 3, 2007 declaring that there is no prima facie evidence against me."

Sison said that the AFP report made it appear that formal charges of murder are about to be filed by the Dutch prosecutors.

"It must first be able to find prima facie evidence and go to court to ask for the appointment of a new examining judge. Then the prosecution gathers further witnesses and evidence and allows me and my counsel to cross examine the witnesses and get my witnesses. After the round, we can all go to court for trial of the formal charge," said Sison who is also chief political consultant of the NDF in peace talks with the Philippine government.

Sison said that instead presenting evidence against him, "the Dutch prosecution office and Dutch police have turned up witnesses and documentary evidence to prove that two assassination teams were dispatched from the Philippines to The Netherlands to kill me within the period of 1999-2001."

Sison said that he and his lawyers "are studying the failure of the Dutch authorities to act promptly on the findings about the assassination projects of the Philippine authorities."



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