​Prosecutors rest case vs Ampatuan, et al

March 06, 2014 - 12:05:44 am

MANILA: After four years, the prosecution panel in the Maguindanao massacre trial ended the presentation of evidence against former Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr and 27 other suspects in the multiple murder case.

 “After careful assessment and judicious deliberation, the prosecution hereby manifests that it is terminating the presentation of evidence-in-chief and ready to rest its cases against the accused,” read the eight-page manifestation released on Tuesday.

The panel, led by City Prosecutor Archimedes Manabat, rested its case against Ampatuan even as the special Quezon City court handling the case has yet to rule on the suspect’s bail petition.

In addition to Ampatuan, the panel also rested its case against Chief Inspector Sukarno Dicay, Moktar Daud; Zakaria Akil, alias Quago Akil; Manny Ampatuan; Misuari Ampatuan; Police Officer 3 Gibrael Alano; Senior Police Officer 2 Badawi Bakal and Mohamad Balading.

The panel earlier admitted that they have no more witnesses to present against all 104 arrested suspects in the massacre.

However, Manabat said they could not rest its case against those who have pending cases before Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 or the appellate courts.

 “Except for the aforementioned 28 specified accused whom it is now ready to rest its cases against, the prosecution, despite disinterest to further present witnesses, is in no position to terminate its evidence presentation and rest its cases against the remaining 78 accused,” he added.

Ammo store blast kills 1

JAKARTA:  A naval officer was killed and dozens injured when an explosion ripped through a navy ammunitions warehouse in the Indonesian capital yesterday.

Military spokesman Iskandar Sitompul told reporters: “There were 87 victims. One of them died...and one remains in the intensive care unit.”

Nearly 150 naval officers were stationed nearby when the warehouse blew up around mid-day. He said an electrical short circuit was suspected to have triggered the explosion.

“We want to emphasise there was no sabotage and that it was an accident,” Sitompul added.

N Korea backs missile tests

SEOUL:  North Korea’s military yesterday defended a recent series of missile and rocket tests that coincided with ongoing annual South Korea-US military drills.

In a statement carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency, a Korean People’s Army spokesman said the tests -- which violated UN sanctions banning any ballistic missile test by Pyongyang -- were “ordinary military practice”.