Sherry Broder


Marcos Banker’s Testimony Sought

A judge orders the financier to testify on Swiss bank accounts

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

A Swiss financier reported to have managed the assets of Ferdinand Marcos has been ordered to give a deposition to attorneys trying to enforce a now-$3.1 billion judgment against the late Philippine president.

The deposition of Jean-Louis Sunier was ordered for Saturday in Munich, Germany.

The order, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court by visiting U.S. District Judge Manuel Real, also calls for sanctions of up to $10,000 per day if Sunier continues to dodge attorneys.

An attorney for Sunier did not return telephone messages seeking comment yesterday.

Sunier has refused to testify, insisting that under international law attorneys cannot compel him to testify outside his home country. He also argues that he is bound by "professional secrecy" from disclosing information about bank accounts.

Sherry Broder, an attorney representing Filipinos who successfully sued the Marcos estate, said Sunier should not be protected by the legendary privacy of Switzerland's banking system.

"We've been trying ... to track down and recover the Swiss assets," Broder said. "We need to move ahead and recover the Marcos assets and we believe the Swiss financial institutions should not be a safe haven for torturers and tyrants around the world."

A class-action lawsuit by 9,539 Filipinos was filed against the Marcos estate in 1986, the year he was deposed and fled to Hawaii. He died in 1989.

In 1995, a Honolulu jury awarded plaintiffs $2 billion after finding Marcos responsible for summary executions, disappearances and torture. The judgment has been stalled in court and has grown to about $3.1 billion with interest.

Attorneys trying to enforce the judgment want Sunier's testimony because he worked at a Swiss bank where an agent for Marcos opened an account in 1972, Broder said.

Sunier has said his testimony would add nothing to the case because Marcos' home was looted after his fall from power and all necessary documents already were in the hands of the plaintiffs.

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