De Lima's drug case hearing deferred due to lawyer's no-show

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 18 2019 11:38 AM

MANILA — A Muntinlupa Court postponed on Wednesday a hearing into the illegal drug trafficking case against detained Sen. Leila De Lima after the lawyer of a witness against her failed to attend the proceeding.

The Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court rescheduled the hearing on Sept. 25 due to the absence of lawyer Jehn Louie Velandrez, counsel of De Lima's former bodyguard Joenel Sanchez, who accused her of receiving kickbacks from convicted drug lords.

The court also ordered Sanchez's camp to answer within 10 days an omnibus motion filed by De Lima.

De Lima, a fierce critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-narcotics drive, has maintained the the drug accusations her were politically motivated.

She has been detained at the national police headquarters since February 2017. She is not entitled to bail and, if found guilty, faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Report from Henry Atuelan, ABS-CBN News