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Key suspect in Philippines’ deadliest massacre freed on bail

Key suspect in Philippines’ deadliest massacre freed on bail
A key defendant in the worst political massacre in the Philippines, which saw 58 people murdered, has been freed on bail, the court trying the case said on Tuesday.

The court granted the provisional release of Sajid Ampatuan on Monday, ruling against the
government which wants him kept in prison along with more than 100 other suspects in the 2009 slaughter.

“He was released yesterday. He is free to travel anywhere in the Philippines,” Alan Moral, an official from the regional court handling the case told AFP. He is, however, barred from leaving the country while on bail. Moral said the defendant had paid an 11.6 million-peso (USD 262,000) bond to be freed on bail. Sajid Ampatuan could not be reached for comment today. He is a son of Andal Ampatuan Snr, a Muslim political clan leader accused of masterminding the massacre in his southern bailiwick of Maguindanao province on November 23, 2009. Nine clan members are among 111 people detained for the mass killings that prosecutors allege were part of a bid to quash an election challenge from a rival clan.

Thirty-two media workers were among those killed, making the attack one of the deadliest ever recorded globally against journalists.

State prosecutors have opposed the clan members’ bail bids amid fears their release could intimidate


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