• Qatar OFWs may appeal conviction, says Binay

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    Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday allayed the fears of the families of the three Filipinos jailed for alleged espionage and economic sabotage in Qatar, saying the cases were still on appeal and there was still hope.

    Binay also assured the families of the Philippine government’s assistance and support.

    “They have four chances to appeal so the case will take some time. Our embassy is helping them so they and their families must not lose hope,” Binay said.

    One of the three jailed Filipinos was meted the death penalty, while the two others were sentenced to life imprisonment in April this year. They were among the nine Filipinos arrested in 2010. The rest were eventually released.

    The verdict has been elevated to Qatar’s appellate court. If the court upholds the verdict, the Filipinos may still re-appeal their case twice with the same court.

    In the event that the original verdict is upheld after the three appeals, the appellants may then seek the Court of Cassation’s (Qatar’s supreme court) intervention.

    Binay said the acquittal of the Filipinos’ co-accused is a source of optimism.

    He also said the Department of Foreign Affairs and the National Bureau of Investigation have not received sensitive information from the accused and that helps their case.

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