Posted by: JWP | 12/19/2009

Massacre chief suspect Andal Ampatuan Jr w/ bullet proof vest in court

BBC News 12/18/09

The chief suspect in the massacre of 57 people in the southern Philippines – the country’s worst political murder – has appeared in court in Manila.

Andal Ampatuan Jr wore a bulletproof vest and was accompanied by armed guards to attend the hearing.

He denies multiple charges of murder over last month’s attack, which killed members of a rival political family and journalists travelling with them.

In court he was harangued by reporters angered by the deaths of colleagues.

The preliminary court hearing was to hear evidence and give Mr Ampatuan an opportunity to challenge the charges.

His lawyer, Sigfrid Fortun, waived his client’s right to counter the charges because, he said, the Justice Department appeared to have already reached the conclusion that there was a case to answer.

read in full @ BBCNews

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