Former Philippine first lady convicted of graft


Marcos and her representatives did not attend the legal hearing on Friday.

Under the rules of the Sandiganbayan, the former first lady has 15 days from promulgation of the ruling to file an appeal, and the anti-graft court has 30 days within which to decide on it. Marcos may also go straight to Supreme Court to seek relief.

The anti-graft Sandiganbayan court on Friday sentenced the 89-year-old to six to 11 years jail for each of the seven counts for violating an anti-corruption law when she illegally funnelled about $US200 million ($A275 million) to Swiss foundations in the 1970s.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will arrest former First Lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos once the court issues an arrest warrant.

Neither Marcos nor her lawyers were present when the Sandiganbayan justices promulgated the decision to convict her for seven counts of graft.

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The charges, filed in the 1990s, stem from companies set up by the family in Switzerland prior to her husband's ouster in 1986, CNN Philippines says. After they left, Marcos's collection of 1,100 shoes was put on display in the presidential palace to show people the extent of the riches she had accumulated while in office.

Her arrest was ordered again in 2009 for two counts of corruption but she posted bail and stayed out of jail.

The verdict is a blow to the Marcos family, who despite the opprobrium heaped on their dictatorship, have established themselves as a rich and powerful political dynasty.

President Rodrigo Duterte enjoys good ties with the Marcos family and has often praised the late strongman.