09/12/2007, 00.00
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Life in prison for ex President Estrada

by Santosh Digal
A court in Manila finds him guilty of corruption and embezzlement, orders him to pay back the money he took from the public purse. Estrada accuses President Arroyo and the Church of conspiring against him.

Manila (AsiaNews) – A Filipino court sentenced former Filipino President Joseph Estrada to life in prison after a trial that lasted seven years on charges of corruption, embezzlement and perjury.

The judges also ordered Estrada, 70, to repay four billion pesos (about US$ 85.5 million) which he plundered from the public purse.

Ousted by a popular revolt backed by the military in 2001, the former leader will appeal the verdict.

For the one time movie actor, the trial was a farce orchestrated by current President Gloria Arroyo and the Catholic Church, the latter for not accepting his secular platform.

Catholic bishops for their part told Estrada to accept the court’s verdict, and urged people not to protest violently the court’s decision.

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See also
Three in four Filipinos want Arroyo to resign
Former President Estrada leaves prison, thanks Cardinal Vidal
Filipino nun opposes graft and former President Arroyo's husband
Corruption charges against President Arroyo's son
Commission to investigate Arroyo announced


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