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Imelda Marcos Gets Prison Term for Corruption

From Associated Press

A Philippine court convicted Imelda Marcos of corruption today and sentenced the former first lady to nine to 12 years imprisonment for each of two counts of corruption.

The conviction ended the first criminal trial in the Philippines for the widow of former strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos, who was accused of massive corruption during his 20-year rule.

The government has struggled for years to pursue Imelda Marcos and is trying to recover some of the $10 billion it says was embezzled.

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The three-judge Sandiganbayan, which tries official corruption cases, also convicted former Transport Minister Jose Dans on the same counts, and also sentenced him to nine to 12 years for each count.

The two are accused of entering into five “unfavorable” contracts involving the government-run commuter rail line and Philippine General Hospital Foundation Inc.

They would have to serve at least 18 years, court officials said. Marcos’ lawyer said she will appeal the conviction.

Shouting “Imelda not guilty!” about 100 supporters of Marcos tried to storm the gates of the court compound when they heard the verdict over a loudspeaker set up outside the courthouse.

Earlier, a few dozen supporters of former President Corazon Aquino also picketed the area and were chased away by the Marcos loyalists when they unfurled a banner saying, “Return Stolen Wealth.”

A popular revolt led to President Marcos’ ouster in 1986 and to Aquino’s installation as president. Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.

The court permitted a previous bail bond to stand, which allows Imelda Marcos to remain free pending an appeal of the judgment.

She immediately left the courthouse, waving and smiling to her supporters as she was driven away in a white limousine.


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