Olongapo judge suspends court proceedings on Laude murder case for 60 days
OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines – An Olongapo judge has suspended court proceedings on the murder of Filipino transgender woman Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude at the behest of the American soldier who has been accused of killing Laude.
Regional Trial Court Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde of Branch 74 granted US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton a 60-day suspension to give way to a review of the murder charge filed against him by the Olongapo City Prosecutor’s Office on Dec. 15.
Jabalde issued the resolution on Tuesday afternoon after office hours.
The Hall of Justice was open only until noon to allow employees to travel for the Christmas holiday.
Jabalde also denied the petitions filed by Laude family to allow media coverage of the murder trial and to transfer Pemberton to the city jail.
Lawyer Harry Roque, one of the family’s counsels, confirmed the Court’s decisions, which was made available towards Tuesday night.
Roque said he would ask the court to reconsider all three rulings. He said the government could not afford a 60-day suspension “since we only have one year” to resolve the murder case as prescribed by the Visiting Forces Agreement.
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