Imelda Marcos, Philippines ex-first lady, faces jail over graft


Former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos was handed a guilty verdict by the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division Friday morning due to her financial interests in several foundations created in Switzerland during the Marcos administration.

The anti-graft Sandiganbayan court on Friday sentenced the 89-year-old to six to 11 years jail for each of the seven counts for violating an anti-corruption law when she illegally funnelled about $US200 million ($A275 million) to Swiss foundations in the 1970s.

Marcos can also raise the decision to the Supreme Court if she finds grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Sandiganbayan.

She was given 30 days by the anti-graft court to explain her absence during the promulgation.

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Marcos is the widow of dictator Ferdinand Marcos and served as First Lady from 1965 to 1986. She can also file an application for bail. Most have been elected to public offices in an impressive political comeback. Imelda Marcos in particular was known for her flaunting her opulent lifestyle while the country languished in poverty and civil unrest.

Marcos said in a statement her lawyer is "studying the decision and he has advised us that he intends to file a motion for reconsideration". The Marcos family is a known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte. His family is said to have amassed an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion while he was in power.

Imelda Marcos was acquitted Friday in three other cases, which were filed in 1991 and took almost three decades of trial by several judges and prosecutors.

Duterte allowed Marcos' embalmed body to be buried at a special heroes' cemetery in 2016, and the president is often accompanied at official events by Imee Marcos.