U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Marcoses
NEW YORK (AP) _ A federal prosecutor applauded a ruling Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court that ex-Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos and his wife must surrender banking records to the grand jury which indicted them on charges they stole millions from their country’s treasury.
″It definitely is a victory,″ said Viktor Pohorelsky of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan. ″It means we’re going to get what we wanted all along.″
The Marcoses also must turn over fingerprints, palm prints, voice prints and handwriting samples, but their attorney, John Tigue, said the order to provide financial records from foreign banks was the most important facet of the ruling. The couple faced jail or a fine if they did not comply.
″We will have to comply, and we will do it forthwith,″ Tigue said. ″We will do it at a date that is convenient for all.″
FBI assistant special agent-in-charge Ralph Girardi said the Marcoses would appear at Honolulu headquarters Friday afternoon to provide the samples. The process should take about two hours, he said.
Marcos spokesman Gemmo Trinidad said the couple had no comment on the ruling.
The court’s rejection of an emergency request by the former Philippine president and first lady reversed an order issued Nov. 8 by Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Marshall temporarily excused the couple from complying with the grand jury subpoenas to give the full U.S. Supreme Court a chance to review the case.
The records and samples were sought by a federal grand jury in New York which previously indicted the Marcoses and eight others on racketeering charges. The panel is conducting further investigations.
U.S. District Judge John M. Walker ruled Aug. 11 that the Marcoses no longer held immunity as ruler and first lady of a foreign country and must comply with the subpoenas. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the judge’s ruling on Oct. 19.
The Marcoses have been indicted on racketeering charges for allegedly plundering $103 million from the Philippine treasury, funneling it to foreign bank accounts and using the money to buy prime New York City real estate and art.
Eight others, including Saudi Arabian financier Adnan Khashoggi, also were indicted but remain at large outside the United States.
Marcos, 71, and his wife, 59, have lived in exile in Hawaii since he was ousted in a popular uprising in 1986. The samples will be provided by the couple in Hawaii, Tigue said.
Mrs. Marcos, who has pleaded innocent to the racketeering charges, is free on $5 million bail that was put up by tobacco heiress Doris Duke.
Marcos’ arraignment was postponed pending a report by a government physician who examined him.
The case is Marcos vs. U.S., A-361.