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Cablegate: Appeal of Lance Corporal Smith

VZCZCXRO3838
OO RUEHNH
DE RUEHML #1174 1031010
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 131010Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6064
INFO RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA IMMEDIATE 0091
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS MANILA 001174

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR CASC KCRM RP
SUBJECT: APPEAL OF LANCE CORPORAL SMITH

REF: MANILA 1098

1. (U) The Court of Appeals has "directed" LCpl Daniel
Smith to submit his "appellant's brief" on the actual appeal
of his criminal conviction within fifteen days. Beginning
from the date of receipt by the defense counsel on April 4,
this would make the brief due on April 19. At the same time,
the Appeals Court dismissed an "Omnibus Motion for the
Dismissal of the Appeal and the Issuance of a Warrant of
Arrest" (reftel) in the case.

2. (SBU) Senior defense counsel Jose Justiniano told Pol/C
that he had on April 13 filed a request for a 30 day
extension, which he said the court would grant
"automatically." He nonetheless said that he planned to file
the brief during the week of May 1 rather than waiting for
the new expected May 19 deadline. He expressed high
confidence that he would have sufficient time to prepare the
brief. He indicated that Court of Appeals Justice Rosario
had not strictly followed the 2002 criminal procedures, which
mandated that the court formally notify the defense attorney
that it had finished its review of the lower court's records,
but added that he did not intend to make an issue of this for
fear of antagonizing the court.

3. (SBU) Comment: The appeal is now moving into its next
phase, with the clock ticking. Once the defense files its
brief, the Office of the Solicitor General will also have
thirty days to file its brief, with possible extensions as
well (although the Solicitor General separately told Pol/C
that she does not intend to make such requests). While the
justice's ruling on the omnibus motion received some limited
media attention, there has been no publicity that the appeal
process is now moving forward after a long silence.

Visit Embassy Manila's Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm
KENNEY

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