Marine custody decision in Philippines awaits document filings
The Court of Appeals in Manila is awaiting the filing of more documents regarding the custody of U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith before coming to a decision, according to Smith’s attorney, Jose Justiniano.
Justiniano said Monday that the court was waiting for documents to be filed from the “private complainant” — Smith’s 23-year-old victim.
The woman and her private attorney, Evalyn Ursua, are expected to oppose the request to transfer Smith to U.S. custody until his appeal is heard.
Smith’s defense team last week petitioned the Court of Appeals to return Smith to U.S. custody after lower court judge Benjamin Pozon ordered that he remain in Philippine jail, despite language in a joint U.S.-Philippine agreement that says custody should remain with the United States until the end of judicial proceedings.
Smith’s parents, meanwhile, have said they support their son. In a statement faxed to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the family said: “Our son has presented his side of the story in court, and we are anxiously waiting for word on his appeal efforts. To our son, we’d like to say we love you very much and you are constantly in our prayers.”