In the Philippines, the military trial of twenty-seven people accused of plotting to overthrow the government was adjourned for three weeks on Monday (10 November) when one of the main defendants failed to appear in court.
SV Former Senator, Eva Kalaw, registering and being searched as she enters court in Manila
SV Judges entering with prosecution counsel
SV Judges sit down in court room
SV defendants stand up
CU Senator Kalaw smiling
GV PAN Courtroom with defence lawyer speaking
SV Defendants listening to court proceedings
SCU Prosecutor speaking in English
SCU Senator Kalaw reading from her defence lawyer
SV ZOOM OUT Judge adjourns trial
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Background: In the Philippines, the military trial of twenty-seven people accused of plotting to overthrow the government was adjourned for three weeks on Monday (10 November) when one of the main defendants failed to appear in court. The accused are charged with conspiring to assassinate President Ferdinand Marcos on last New Year's Eve, as part of a plan to unseat his government.
SYNOPSIS: The first defendant to arrive at the military court was a former Senator, Mrs. Eva Kalaw, named by the prosecution as one of the key organisers of the plot. Unlike the others, Mrs. Kalaw is not being held in custody. The conspiracy trial opened on November the 3rd before a court of seven military judges. If convicted, the twenty-seven accused all face the death penalty.
Among those charged are four opposition politicians who've still not been arrested. They include opposition leader, Raul Manglapus, now based in the Untied States. Another key defendant, Lieutenant-Colonel Jose Reyes, was also absent from the hearing. A former member of the armed forces, Colonel Reyes is under military guard in hospital being treated for hypertension.
Meanwhile, the court is considering a plea from Senator Kalaw for her own defence counsel. She read form a letter sent to her from prison by ex-Senator Jovito Salonga, a lawyer who wanted to act on her behalf in the case. There was doubt about whether he will be allowed out of gaol to appear in the court. The judges decided that ruling was up to prison authorities.
With one defendant absent and a request for legal aid, the military court adjourned the proceedings. The case will resume on December the fourth.