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Laude counsel eyes int’l crime case vs Pemberton

OLONGAPO CITY – Accused murderer US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton may face an international criminal complaint if ever he is acquitted of killing transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude here.

This was according to the Laude family’s legal counsel Virgie Suarez, saying that they could file a new case against the US serviceman before an international body if the Branch 74 of the Olongapo Regional Trial Court acquits him of the murder case.

She said that the legal counsels are considering the filing of international criminal complaint as an option.

Suarez said the murder hearing by Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde has only until December 14 to come up with a verdict or it would meet the one-year prescription period set by the Visiting Forces Agreement or the Paragraph 6 of Article 5 of the Visiting Forces Agreement.

Many politicians here are against this part of the agreement, stating that it is a “lopsided criminal jurisdiction provision.”

If the court has not given the verdict on the murder case, Pemberton will be sent back to the US scot-free.

Suarez said that if Pemberton is acquitted, the prosecution cannot appeal to a higher court, adding that the US soldier will be deported immediately. (Jonas Reyes)