Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s corruption trial suffers further delay

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(File photo) Sen. Jinggoy Estrada

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The trial of Senator Jinggoy Estrada for plunder and graft in connection with the millions of pesos he allegedly received in kickbacks from pork barrel funds suffered another delay on Monday.

Two years after the charges were filed at the Sandiganbayan, the cases are still bogged down in the pre-trial phase, where state prosecutors and defense lawyers are supposed to complete marking documentary evidence they will present during the trial.

The court’s Fifth Division again cancelled a pre-trial conference after State prosecutors said they were having difficulty obtaining certain documents from some government agencies and asked for another month to complete marking evidence.

Previously scheduled pre-trial conferences have been cancelled for the same reason. Monday marks the third time this has happened.

Both parties are required to identify all documentary evidence they intend to present during the trial as the court said it will no longer allow reservations on presenting additional evidence later on, unless there is justifiable ground.

The pre-trial was rescheduled for September 12.

Estrada is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center together with Senator Bong Revilla. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, 91, the third senator charged in the pork barrel scam, has been allowed to post bail due to his frail health and old age.

Estrada is accused of pocketing P183 millions in kickbacks after allegedly diverting pork barrel funds to fake non-government organizations run by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.