Police: Lee safer under military custody-A A +A
Saturday, January 12, 2013
DAVAO CITY Police Office (DCPO) Director Ronald M. dela Rosa said the wife of a Malaysian national, believed to be a member of international terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, is safer under the custody of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom).
Annabelle Nieva Lee, who hails from Sorsogon in Bicol Region, was turned over on Friday to Naval Intelligence and Security Group (NISG) after Judge George Omelio, of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 granted the petition for her transfer from DCPO.
Dela Rosa said it would be "great" for the accused to stay under the custody of the military for her security.
"Mas safe jud nuon sya (Lee) didto (NISG) kay mas daghan ug sundalo sa palibot, knowing it is a military camp - for sure their command as soldiers is different from the policemen. So we hope for the best," dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa said keeping the accused safe is part of the authorities' standard operating procedure especially when it comes to a high risk detainee although there has been no reported threat from the accused or her husband's comrades.
"But we cannot discount the possibility that their comrades will look for her -- either they'll come to rescue Lee or what, because for them, she is a high value asset to the group. And for us, she is a high risk detainee and we need to be on full alert," dela Rosa said.
Lee was arrested on December 14, 2012 after his husband, Mohd Noor Fikrie Bin Abd Kahar, was shot dead by authorities along Camus St., in Davao City.
In a separate interview, lawyer Ben Joseph Tesiorna, legal counsel for the accused, heaved a sigh of relief after the court granted the petition of the DCPO to transfer the custody of his client to NISG.
"Dili man sa wala koy salig sa police, I agree with the DCPO director that my client (Lee) is better to stay in the naval intelligence. Isa pa, babae man gud akong kleyente and knowing her religion, she even needs a little more space," Tesiorna said.
Lee, on the other hand, also agreed to be in the custody of the NISG for security reasons.
The prosecution found probable cause to charge Lee based on the evidences presented by the authorities.
On January 11, 2013, the accused pleaded not guilty during her arraignment before the RTC Branch 14 Judge George E. Omelio. The court scheduled the pre–trial on February 14, 2013.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 13, 2013.