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Freed Australian readies charges against kidnappers


07:50 PM April 1st, 2013

April 1st, 2013 07:50 PM

Australian hostage Warren Rodwell (C) who was recently released talks arrives at the Manila International Airport in Manila on March 25, 2013. AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Freed Australian hostage Warren Rodwell met with a Philippine prosecutor on Monday to help prepare charges against the Islamic extremists who held him in captivity for 15 months.

A gaunt, grim-looking Rodwell, who was in a wheelchair and escorted by Australian embassy personnel, filed a statement describing his ordeal before assistant prosecutor Aristotle Reyes at the Department of Justice in Manila.

“This is to process the investigation of the case. The statement can be used by the PNP (Philippine National Police) to pursue a complaint,” said Reyes, without disclosing details of the statement.

Armed men posing as police abducted Rodwell, 54, from his home in a coastal town of the southern Philippines in December, 2011, and demanded $2 million for his safe release.

The militants freed a deeply emaciated Rodwell on March 23 after a payment, reportedly of P4 million (nearly $100,000), was made.

Authorities say the Abu Sayyaf, a small group of militants based in southern Philippines and designated by the US government as a terrorist organization, was responsible for the kidnapping.

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