Lawyer says Rep. Ronald Singson to admit to drug possession, arraignment postponed after HK judge inhibits himself
Rep. Ronald Singson’s legal counsel said the congressman will plead guilty to drug possession in Hong Kong, where he faces a drug trafficking case, ABS-CBN News reported yesterday.
Singson’s arraignment was postponed after Judge Stanley Chan inhibited himself on Wednesday. According to ABS-CBN News, Chan decided to stand down after receiving a letter containing "prejudicial allegations" against Singson. He said he inhibited himself because he may be perceived to have been affected by the "poison letter."
"The timing is suspicious," Chan said. "The unproven allegations against (Singson) may be a deliberate act to influence the sentencing (or) to manipulate or disrupt the judicial process." He ordered the letter to be sealed and withheld from the next judge "in the interest of justice." Chan also ordered that the letter be withheld from the next presiding judge. A new judge will preside over the trial next Monday, according to ABS-CBN News.
Meanwhile House Speaker Sonny Belmonte said the House of Representatives will wait for the ruling on the case before making a decision on Singson’s position in Congress. "So far, the only person pleading guilty is the lawyer... It (Singson pleading guilty) hasn’t happened. Despite everything that has been said, we haven’t reached the actual arraignment," Belmonte told ABS-CBN News.
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