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Ellah Joy Pique case: Cebu earthquake delays hearings

Discussion in 'Important Causes' started by Markham, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. Markham
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    Markham . Lifetime Member

    The city courthouse in Cebu was damaged by the earthquake last November that devastated parts of Bohol. This has meant all trials have been delayed until new accommodation could be found. The courts are now using temporary accommodation but there are significant delays for all trials.

    There's been no hearing in this case since last autumn but there will be one sometime in March, I hear. There are two witnesses remaining on the prosecution's roster one of whom is a PNP officer who was present at the search of Bella Santos' home and who has already given evidence at a much earlier hearing in this case, in a different courtroom and before a different judge.

    The other witness was one of Ellah Joy's classmates. Her elder sister was the very first witness called in the trial and had to be coached by prosecutors following which her credibility and testimony was pretty much destroyed by the defence team. That caused her parents to withdraw their consent for the younger sibling to appear but it seems they have been "persuaded" to change their mind.
  2. Methersgate
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    Methersgate Well-Known Member Lifetime Member

    Thanks for the update. Of course, the child is now older (and better coached!)
  3. Markham
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    Markham . Lifetime Member

    I should perhaps explain that the earlier proceedings were during the pre-trial stage and centred on the search warrant the Police obtained in order to gain access to Bella Santos' house whilst she was away (in Singapore). The judge who presided at that set of hearings was not at all convinced by the Police officers who testified before him and this caused him to order the return of much of Bella and Ian's property that had been seized. During those hearings, a self-styled computer technician - but not one who's forensically-trained - booted-up Bella's laptop and displayed a number of the images stored on its hard disk: they were photos of various members of Bella's immediate and extended families and did include photos of their offspring. Despite prosecution claims that the children whose images were found may not be related to either Bella or Ian, the Judge determined that no offensive or illegal material was found. There followed a break-in of Bella's home and almost nothing was taken apart from her digital camera - which had not been taken during the Police search, possibly because she had it with her at the time. Almost immediately images from that camera started appearing in the press! The Police never did bother with investigating the break-in.
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