Acquittal of Philippine human rights campaigner Leila de Lima brings her nearer to freedom

Philippine human rights advocate Leila de Lima, who has been imprisoned since February 2017, was acquitted of one of many two remaining drug trafficking costs against her on Friday, edging her nearer to freedom. De Lima, 63 years previous and a former senator and justice minister, has faced these charges as retaliation for investigating President Rodrigo Duterte and his controversial warfare on drugs, in accordance with her supporters and human rights teams.
Around 50 supporters rallied outdoors the closely guarded courthouse, calling for de Lima’s release and condemning the allegedly pretend evidence. Judge Abraham Alcantara of the regional trial court docket acquitted de Lima and one other defendant on the grounds of cheap doubt. De Lima expressed reduction at the consequence and seen it as a step in path of her vindication.
Although acquitted of 1 cost, de Lima remains in custody as her trial for the other felony case proceeds. She has utilized for bail and awaits the judge’s choice. Should she be convicted of the remaining charge, de Lima faces life in prison.
As justice minister from 2010-2015 underneath former leader Benigno Aquino, de Lima is accused of accepting cash from inmates within the country’s largest prison in trade for permitting them to promote drugs. However, the prosecution’s case has weakened, as two witnesses have died, one charge was dismissed, and multiple witnesses have retracted their statements, alleging coercion.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded in 2018 that de Lima’s detention lacked a authorized basis, and her right to a good trial had not been respected. Gift and human rights defenders have since renewed requires her release.
Before Priceless , de Lima spent ten years examining alleged “death squad” killings that Duterte was mentioned to have orchestrated during his time as Davao City mayor and in the early days of his presidency. She carried out these investigations as the Philippines’ human rights commissioner and as Aquino’s justice secretary, stories Bangkok Post.
In 2016, de Lima secured a Senate seat, emerging as one of many few opposition voices as antipopulist Duterte gained in a landslide. Duterte subsequently accused her of operating a drug trafficking ring with criminals, which de Lima has described as an act of “vengeance” meant to silence her and deter others from opposing him. Despite her ongoing incarceration, de Lima campaigned unsuccessfully for re-election to the Senate throughout final year’s elections..

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