Tobacco heiress Doris Duke will put up the $5-million bail Imelda Marcos needs to return to Hawaii and her husband, deposed Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos, a lawyer said today.
Donald Robinson, attorney for Duke, said she would post more than $5 million in municipal bonds to secure the bail of Mrs. Marcos, who is charged along with her husband with looting their homeland of more than $100 million.
"It was Miss Duke's idea to help," Robinson said after a hearing before U.S. District Judge John Keenan. "She believes she (Mrs. Marcos) is innocent."
Robinson said Mrs. Marcos, who made the trip to New York from the couple's home in exile aboard Duke's lavishly appointed private jet, would be free to return home as early as today, once the bonds are posted.
But Assistant U.S. Atty. Charles LaBella, said it was unlikely the paper work would be completed today.
Mrs. Marcos, 59, had been barred by Keenan from returning to her ailing husband and their home in Hawaii, where the couple have lived since their ouster in a popular uprising in 1986, until bail was settled.
Marcos, 71, remained in Hawaii. Defense attorneys argued last week that he was too frail to make the 10-hour flight. Keenan postponed Marcos' arraignment pending an examination by a government physician.
Mrs. Marcos, who has been staying in an $1,800-a-day suite at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, did not attend the court session.
Robinson said the 75-year-old Duke and Mrs. Marcos were "close personal friends. They talk frequently."
Meanwhile, Keenan disclosed today that his wife was a college classmate of Marcos' successor, Corazon Aquino. Diane Keenan and Aquino graduated in 1953 from the College of Mount St. Vincent in New York.
"I have never met the present president of the Philippines. I think my wife has seen her once in the last 35 years," the judge said.
In Washington, Rep. Robert G. Torricelli (D-N.J.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said today Congress will pursue "mounting evidence" that Marcos committed more violations than those with which he is charged.
Torricelli declined to say what charges the committee is investigating.
The Virginian-Pilot and the Ledger-Star newspapers of Norfolk, Va., reported that the investigation involves allegations that Marcos funneled millions of dollars into President Reagan's 1980 and 1984 presidential campaigns.