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Manila Files New Charges Against Imelda Marcos

<i> Times Wire Service</i> s

The government filed new fraud charges against Imelda Marcos on Tuesday, alleging that she illegally withdrew $25 million from a government bank for personal expenses while her late husband was president.

The action came a day after Marcos said she is willing to return to the Philippines for trial on earlier fraud charges, but only if she received assurances that the body of her late husband eventually would be allowed back.

President Corazon Aquino announced in July that the 5-year-old ban on Imelda Marcos entering the country was being lifted so she could return for trial. But she continued to bar the return of the body of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

Marcos and his family fled to Hawaii shortly after a popular uprising toppled him from power in 1986. Aquino banned the Marcoses from returning, saying they would be a rallying point for forces opposed to her government. She continued the ban after Marcos died in September, 1989.

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Imelda Marcos has said she is hesitant to return for trial because she fears her husband will not be allowed home and will be buried in Hawaii, where his body is in a temporary crypt. She had said Monday she would not return without a “clear policy decision” from Manila on the return of the remains.

Solicitor General Francisco Chavez said the new fraud charges involve the removal of $25 million from the New York branch of the state-owned Philippine National Bank from 1977 to 1985. He said the money was used by Imelda Marcos for “personal expenses and shopping sprees abroad.”

The government has already charged her with more than 30 counts of tax evasion and corruption.


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