Saturday, April 25, 2009

Acquitted Smith leaves for US - Friday, April 24

MANILA, Philippines – A day after being acquitted by the Court of Appeals (CA) of raping a Filipina in Subic nearly four years ago, Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith has left the country to return to the US, reports said today.

“Following the decision of the Court of Appeals, Daniel Smith has left the Philippines,” the US Embassy in Manila said in a statement.

Smith was earlier convicted by a lower court of raping Suzette Nicolas, a.k.a “Nicole,” when the two met in a club in Subic, Olongapo City, in November 2005.

But last March 12, Nicolas recanted her statements, saying Smith did not rape her.

In a five-page affidavit, Nicolas admitted that she “possibly lost her inhibitions” and became "intimate" with Smith, after drinking “alcoholic mixed drinks" with him.

It was also reported that she then left the Philippines and headed to the US to stay "for good." According to her former attorney, Nicolas accepted P100,000 in moral and exemplary damages from Smith.

Reports added that the with the acquittal of Smith, any attempts to re-pursue the case is now impossible with the “double jeopardy” procedural defense — which forbids a defendant from being tried twice for the same crime on the same set of facts. - By Dino Maragay (Philstar News Service,

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