President Ferdinand Marcos ordered a military court yesterday to reopen the trial of former Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr., whose death sentence prompted wide foreign criticism.
Aquino, 44, and two alleged Communist leaders were sentenced Friday by the military court to be executed for subversion and other crimes. A U.S. State Department statement had indicated it was disturbed by the sentence but further comment was withheld pending appeal.
Marcos, in ordering the case reopened, cited a letter from Aquino to the civilian Supreme Court calling the military commission "a kangaroo court." The president said the reopening should allow the defendants to present additional witnesses, argument and evidence.
The president's order came as the Supreme Court was studying Aquino's appeal and made legally insignificant any action by the court at this stage, Associated Press reported.
[TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE] infuriated the Mexican attorney general who, according to U.S. officials, had personally given the highest priority to the prisoners' transfer. "We want them to leave as soon as possible, we want to get rid of them," the attorney general said in a telephone interview. "The women will leave first and the men will follow in alphabetical order. There is no question of preference."
In a telegram sent to the attorney general Monday, Stark retracted his charges, saying he had been "misinformed" and he apologized "for any misunderstanding."
All prisoners eligible for transfer will leave on time, as scheduled, the attorney general said. The first group of 60 are to leave on Dec. 9, a second group of 60 of Dec. 10, and the remainder in the following days.