Neri moves to have his NBN-ZTE graft case dismissed

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 18 2015 07:28 PM | Updated as of Sep 19 2015 11:35 AM

MANILA - Former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Romulo Neri filed before the Sandiganbayan 5th Division a demurrer to evidence and hoped for the dismissal of his graft case on the controversial National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with Chinese company, ZTE.

According to the Rules of Court, the demurrer to evidence is filed after the prosecution rests its case, which may then prompt the court to dismiss the action on the ground of insufficiency of evidence.

Neri reiterated his innocence in the botched NBN-ZTE deal under the Arroyo administration.

Neri, in his petition, asked the "Honorable Court grant his demurrer to evidence and dismiss the case against him on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove, beyond any peradventure of doubt, his guilt for the crime of violation of the Anti-Graft Law."

They argued that Neri's golf game and dinner meetings with ZTE and Chinese Embassy officials were "social acts" which Cabinet officials must perform.

They also claimed that even if it were true that former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos supposedly offered bribe money, it was "actually rejected or was not accepted," based on one of the the exhibits presented during the trial.

Neri's lawyers emphasized that he was not part of the "Filipino Group" which supposedly benefited from the botched deal.