Consistent with our commitment to seeing that justice is served in a fair and impartial trial, the Government of the United States has agreed to allow several U.S. Government employees to testify at the trial of four U.S. Marines accused of rape.
Included are two officials of the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) posted to the U.S. Embassy in Manila whose diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention the U.S. Government has waived for the limited purpose of testifying at this trial. The U.S. Government will also seek to bring back to the Philippines two additional NCIS employees who participated in the investigation of this case.
This decision was made following discussions with the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and upon completion of the appropriate steps for requesting court testimony from persons covered by the Vienna Convention.
NCIS had provided the entirety of its preliminary written reports beginning in November 2005 to both the Office of the City Prosecutor in Olongapo and the defense counsels.
The U.S. Government has worked with Philippine authorities under the precepts of the Visiting Forces Agreement throughout the investigation of this alleged incident, and will continue to do so through the completion of the judicial proceedings.
The U.S. remains committed to seeing that justice is served, and looks forward to a fair and impartial process that can provide for a just outcome.
"PR _Embassy statement.doc 59K View as HTML Download>Link