Dutch court frees Philippines opposition leader from custody

A Dutch court Thursday lifted a custody order on Philippines opposition leader Jose Maria Sison, his lawyer Victor Koppe told reporters.

Dutch court frees Philippines opposition leader from custody
A Dutch court Thursday lifted a custody order on Philippines opposition leader Jose Maria Sison, his lawyer Victor Koppe told reporters.

The court in The Hague said there was insufficient evidence that Sison had been leading the communist movement while based in the Netherlands.

A spokesman of the Dutch prosecutor's office said Sison remained a suspect, adding the court's decision to release Sison from custody would be appealed.

Sison, founder of the Communist Party of Philippines (CPP) and its armed branch, the New People's Army (NPA), was arrested on August 30 by the Dutch International Crime Investigation Team in Utrecht, his home town in the centre of the Netherlands.

Dutch authorities have charged Sison with alleged involvement in the murder of thousands of comrades accused of being military spies during the 1980s.

He is also suspected of giving orders to murder his former political associates in the Philippines, Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara, on 26 September 2006.

Sison had been living in the Netherlands illegally after his application for political asylum was rejected in 1987.

The Dutch authorities did not deport him because it was claimed his life would be endangered on arrival in Philippines.

Communist Party of Philippines (CPP) and its armed branch the New People's Army (NPA) have been fighting governments in Manila since the late 1960s, making it Asia's longest-running leftist insurgency.

DPA
Last Mod: 13 Eylül 2007, 16:26
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