|Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso|
MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima believes the statements of the alleged illegal recruiters of Mary Jane Veloso will boost her quest to avoid being executed by firing squad in Indonesia.
Speaking to reporters, De Lima yesterday said the statements of Maria Cristina Sergio and her live-in partner Julius Lacanilao that Veloso did not know she was carrying heroin into Indonesia would be a “big help” to her lawyers in appealing her drug smuggling conviction and death penalty.
“This is a good development and an indication that we are at the right direction, right track… If it will be proven in the ongoing investigation (that she is innocent), this will be a big thing for Mary Jane,” she said.
“This shows that it was right to suspend the implementation of the death so the truth would first come out.”
The government will inform Indonesian authorities of the affidavits of Sergio and Lacanilao “for their own appreciation,” she added.
De Lima said more information would come out in the preliminary investigation on the human trafficking, illegal recruitment and swindling charges against Sergio and Lacanilao.
“It would help if we get additional information, especially on the drug trafficking angle,” she said. “That is what we need to pursue.”
De Lima said Sergio and Lacanilao could provide more information to help Veloso’s case in Indonesia.
“If they are saying that Mary Jane is innocent, that means they have knowledge about that drug trafficking angle – how exactly the deal happened,” she said.
Edre Olalia, Veloso’s lawyer from National Union of People’s Lawyers, said Sergio’s affidavit could be used as evidence to prove Veloso’s innocence in Indonesian courts.
“It can be used as a basis by our Indonesian counterparts,” he said.
“In fact, they are actually waiting for the translation from English to Bahasa so they will communicate immediately with the attorney general’s office about this statement.”
Source: PhilStar, May 22, 2015
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