New hope for Veloso after Philippines and Indonesia break bread

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Indonesian Attorney General HM Prasetyo has said a court ruling in the Philippines can later be used as new evidence for Filipino worker Mary Jane Veloso to apply for clemency.

Mary Jane Veloso, sentenced to death through firing squad in Indonesia, was given a last-minute reprieve at the request of the Philippine government.
Mary Jane Veloso, sentenced to death through firing squad in Indonesia, was given a last-minute reprieve at the request of the Philippine government.

“If the Philippine court later decides that she’s a victim of trafficking, it’s still difficult (for her) to be free from her sentence here,” Prasetyo said, as quoted by Indonesian media on Wednesday (July 29).

 

“But she might use the ruling as novum (new evidence) to apply again for clemency or judicial review,” he said.

Mary Jane’s lawyer Agus Salim is also waiting for the legal process in Philippines.

“We will apply for clemency or judicial review again, but that will depend on the ruling in Philippines,” Agus said.

A delegation from Philippines Department of Justice met with officials of the Indonesian Attorney General’s Office (AGO) on Wednesday to discuss the case against Veloso’s alleged recruiters in the Philippines. The meeting in Jakarta comes three months after Indonesia was supposed to execute Veloso on April 28 for drug smuggling. Veloso’s execution was postponed because of a last-minute appeal from Philippine President Benigno Aquino III.

The Philippine government is now trying to pin down Veloso’s alleged recruiters for illegal recruitment, estafa, and human trafficking to prove that Veloso was a victim.

In Indonesia, however, Philippine Justice Assistant Secretary Neil Simon Silva refused to answer journalists’ questions about the meeting. Silva requested them to interview Indonesia’s AGO officials instead.

AGO spokesman Tony Spontana said that the AGO will not let Veloso leave Indonesia, at least for now.

“We’ll never allow Mary Jane to be taken to the Philippines. We offer their investigators to question her here, conduct a video press conference, or let us question her,” Spontana said.