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‘Evidence vs Kenyan woman is weak’

Posted by Administrator on December 2, 2011

The lawyer of the Kenyan national charged with drug trafficking will be filing a motion for leave of court owing to “weak evidence.”

“The prosecution’s evidence are weak,” lawyer Ricardo Amores said after the hearing yesterday in the sala of Judge Turibio Quiwag of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 27.

Amores cited the Customs Declaration form that Asha Atieno Ogutu filled without understanding the information that were asked from her.

Amores questioned the immigration officers who check on her filled form.

The lawyer said the accused wrote “holyday” on the part where she was asked of her occupation/profession. In her citizenship, she wrote “Kenya” and “Holiday hotel” instead of “AGI hotel” for her address in Cebu City.

Amores said Ogutu’s wrong answers showed that she didn’t understand what she was filling up.

Calvin Bonaobra, 64, duty collector for passenger services in MCIA for 13 years, testified that when some Korean, Japanese and Chinese fill up the form erroneously, personnel correct these information for them.

Bonaobra said that even for those who can speak English, “there are instances that they cannot understand.”

Bonaobra also told the court that he searched the bag of the accused after he was alerted that it contained drugs. He said he did not inspect it in response to a K9 unit detecting drugs.

“I am not being trained with K9 dogs. Our training is to collect taxes in favor of the government and interview the passengers. My capacity is only limited,” he said. He added that he checked passengers’ luggage based on the customs law.

Bonaobra also demonstrated how he detached the handle of the luggage and looked into the inner portion of the bag and found the bulk of the illegal drugs whose street value was placed at P18 million.

“She waived her right by signing the Customs declaration allowing them to search her luggage. But how can she do that if she did not understand that she was signing for,” Amores said.

If only they interviewed Ogutu, the information in her form would have been corrected, he added.

Customs officers check passengers’ luggage if they are unsatisfied with the passenger interview or if x-ray detected taxable items.

But during Ogutu’s arrest, Bonaobra said their x-ray machine was out of order.

Amores also reiterated that the arrest of his client was illegal because there was no search warrant issued by the Palace of Justice.

Amores said the information about Ogutu were received hours before her arrest but the NBI was unable to apply for search warrant though its office office was only a 10-minute walk from the Palace of Justice.

But prosecution witness ReynaldoVillordon Jr. testified that NBI Regional Director Arnel Pura assured them of the legality of the arrest before the operation.

If Amore’s motion will be dismissed on Dec. 7, the presentation of evidence will start thereafter.

In an interview with Cebu Daily News, Ogutu said she gets teary eyed during hearings because she remembers her children. She said she still hopes that the criminal charges against her will be dismissed.

“I do believed in God that he will help me with this. I never stopped praying,” Ogutu said.

Ogutu was arrested by NBI-7 agents upon her arrival at the Mactan airport from Doha, Qatar, on board Qatar Airways Flight 656 at 4 p.m. last Sept. 29.

NBI-7 agents searched her checked-in trolley bag and found two foil packs of shabu concealed in the lining.

Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/104247/%E2%80%98evidence-vs-kenyan-woman-is-weak%E2%80%99

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