Accused in rape trial to testify
ROUND two of a Philippine trial involving Hong Kong rape victim Gill Martin starts in provincial Kalibo, the Visayas Islands, today.
Ms Martin was raped on the tourist island of Boracay on June 17, shortly after she arrived to recover from a leg wound sustained when she walked into the line of fire during the assassination of the Sun Yee On triad ''Tiger of Wan Chai'', Andely Chan Yiu-hing, at the Macau Grand Prix last year.
This time, the 28-year-old double victim is taking no chances. She will be accompanied by a personal minder as well as three professional bodyguards from the National Bureau of Investigation who will fly in from Manila.
A large number of relatives of the accused, tricycle driver Noel Martin, attended the first round of hearings at Branch Six of the Aklan Regional Court three weeks ago in which Ms Martin put her case to Judge Niovady Marin.
Under the Spanish law handed down to the Philippines, there are no juries at any level of the judicial system and the judge is the sole arbiter. During these hearings the defendant will be called on to put his case and the prosecution will have a chance to cross-examine him.
If found guilty, the 23-year-old defendant from Sitio Tulubhan, Manoc-manoc, Boracay Island, could be condemned to death under the Philippines' re-introduced death penalty.
Noel Martin, now detained at the Aklan Rehabilitation Centre in Nalook, Kalibo, has pleaded not guilty to charges on the assault and rape, which happened in front of the Island Manor, a resort establishment in Sitio Ambolong, at about midnight on June 17.