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Dutch court to issue verdict on CPP founder's release
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14:35, September 27, 2007

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A Dutch court will issue next month its decision on a petition of the Dutch prosecution panel challenging the court's decision to free a Philippine communist founder while he undergoes pre-trial investigation, reports said on Thursday.

The decision by the Court of Appeals in The Hague will be out on October 3 after a hearing on the petition took place on Wednesday, the Phillipine ABS-CBN TV reported.

Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, appeared before a panel of three Court of Appeal judges in the Hague in connection with the public prosecutor's appeal against the district court's decision on September 13 to release him from detention.

Sison was ordered to be released after more than two weeks of detention at a Dutch prison.

Sison's camp, however, was confident that the Dutch court will eventually dismiss the murder charges against him, noting that the prosecution panel does not have any new evidence to pin him down.

"I'm sure they (the prosecution) will try everything they can to get him back into prison but if the court decides against the prosecution, it's gonna be a terrible blow for them and for the whole investigation. We have to wait and see," Sison's lawyer, Michiel Pestman, said.

"But we are very positive about the outcome," the Dutch lawyer added.

Sison was arrested on August 28 on charges that he ordered the murders of his former associates in the Philippine communist movement Arturo Tabara and Romulo Kintanar.

According to Dutch law, Sison was detained pending investigation. The investigative judge decided in August to keep Sison in solitary confinement for another 14 days, noting that Sison might opt to escape should he be given temporary release.

On September 7, the investigation procedure against Sison entered the second stage when the prosecution requested that he be detained further for 90 days.

The court, however, decided to set Sison free while the pre- trial investigation continues.

Source: Xinhua



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