Sison released from Dutch custody

13th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

13 September 2007, THE HAGUE (AFP) - A Dutch court ruled Thursday that Philippine communist leader Jose Maria Sison who was arrested in the Netherlands on charges of being involved in murders in the Philippines, must be released immediately. Sison was released from custody after the court in The Hague concluded "that the files do not include sufficient indications that the accused, while living in the Netherlands, committed the offences he is charged with, in deliberate and close co-operation with the perp

13 September 2007

THE HAGUE (AFP) - A Dutch court ruled Thursday that Philippine communist leader Jose Maria Sison who was arrested in the Netherlands on charges of being involved in murders in the Philippines, must be released immediately.
 
Sison was released from custody after the court in The Hague concluded "that the files do not include sufficient indications that the accused, while living in the Netherlands, committed the offences he is charged with, in deliberate and close co-operation with the perpetrators in the Philippines."

The court decision does not preclude him from being prosecuted on murder charges. The court only rules on the request to keep someone in custody, while it is the public prosecutor's office that decides on whether or not to prosecute.

Sison, the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its military wing, the New People's Army (NPA), has been living in the Netherlands since 1987. He was arrested on 28 August in the Dutch town of Utrecht where he lives.

He is suspected of giving orders, from the Netherlands, to murder his former political associates in the Philippines, Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara.

According to Dutch prosecutors, Sison, 68, ordered the assassination of former NPA leader Kintanar, who was killed on 23 January 2003. The murder was claimed by the NPA itself in an official publication, they said

Prosecutors are also investigating the role of Sison in the murders of Tabara and his son-in-law Stephen Ong on 26 September 2006. Tabara was a member of the highest command of the NPA and his assassination was also claimed by that group.

The district court in The Hague on Thursday said the murders were related to disagreements inside CPP and the decision to commit the crimes was taken within the party. It also said much indicated Sison was still playing a leading role in the party.

The court ruled however that there was not enough evidence to prove Sison committed the crimes in co-operation with others or that he incited others to kill the victims.

[Copyright AFP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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