Sep 262014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/04/06MANILA1866.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA1866 2006-04-28 09:44 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
VZCZCXYZ0024
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #1866 1180944
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY ADC3DA6C AMG0184-695)
O 280944Z APR 06 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0779
INFO RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS MANILA 001866

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D COPY SIGNATURE

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, L/EAP
DOD FOR ISA/AP BG ALLEN

PACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO AND GENERAL GOODMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR RP
SUBJECT: COURT REJECTS DOJ MOTION TO DOWNGRADE CHARGES, INDICTS FOUR US MARINES

REF: A: MANILA 1841
B: MANILA 1714
C: 05 MANILA 1519

¶1. (U) Summary: On April 28, a Manila court rejected a
motion to reduce the charges against three of four US
Marines accused of raping a Filipina. The judge hearing the
case entered “not guilty” pleas on behalf of the accused
Marines after their lawyers declined to enter pleas. The
judge also rejected a motion by the prosecution to arrest
the Marines, saying that the Visiting Forces Agreement
remains in effect. The next steps will be a prosecution and
defense conference set for May 15 and a pre-trail conference
set for May 19. Accompanied by tight Embassy security and
consular and public affairs officers, the Marines were able
to enter the courtroom quickly and return to the Embassy
without incident. End Summary.

———————————-
Motion to Downgrade Charges Denied
———————————-

¶2. (U) On April 28, a Makati (Metro Manila) regional trial
court rejected a motion to reduce the charges against three
of four US Marines accused of raping a Filipina in November
¶2005. The Philippine Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a
motion on April 24 recommending that charges against SSGT
Chad Carpentier, CPL Dominic Duplantis, and CPL Keith
Silkwood be reduced from Principal Accused to Accessory (ref
B). In his decision, Judge Benjamin Pozon stated that to
follow the DoJ’s recommendation would “affect his judicial
independence.” Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez announced on
April 28 that the DoJ would not appeal the decision.
Approximately 100 journalists and protesters gathered at the
courtroom for the proceedings — the first public appearance
by the accused Marines.

—————————-
Judge Enters Not Guilty Plea
—————————-

¶3. (U) Lawyers for the accused Marines declined to enter a
plea, stating that they planned to appeal the Makati court’s
decision to quash the motion to reduce the charges. In
response, Judge Pozon entered a plea of “not guilty” to the
original charge of rape on behalf of each of the accused.
The complainant did not attend the hearing.

——————
No Arrest Warrants
——————
¶4. (U) The judge also ruled against a motion by the
prosecution to arrest the Marines and take them into
Philippine custody. He stated that the Visiting Forces
Agreement remains valid until the Supreme Court rules
otherwise. The accused Marines remain in the custody of the
Embassy. The next steps in the case will be a prosecution
and defense conference set for May 15 and a pre-trail
conference set for May 19.

¶5. (U) Embassy security officers conducted a site visit the
day before the hearing and worked with local police to plan
the logistics for the court appearance of the four Marines.
Accompanied by tight Embassy security and consular and
public affairs officers, the Marines were able to enter the
courtroom quickly and return to the Embassy without incident
on April 28.
KENNEY

   

 

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