Supreme Court will consider Marcos immunity claim

A US Supreme Court justice granted deposed Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda a temporary stay on Tuesday of an order requiring them to produce bank records and other evidence for a federal grand jury. Justice Thurgood Marshall granted the stay of a lower court order requiring the Marcoses to give their fingerprints, handwriting samples, and voice prints and turn over foreign bank records.

The couple had until yesterday to comply with the order or be held in contempt of court.

Justice Marshall referred the matter to the full Supreme Court for consideration when it meets today.

Attorneys for the couple asked the court to block the order on grounds that the Marcoses retain diplomatic immunity and that the grand jury lacked authority to issue the four subpoenas.

The evidence was sought as part of a wide-ranging, two-year-old investigation by a federal grand jury in New York. The grand jury last month indicted the Marcoses and five others on racketeering charges.

The Marcoses were charged with looting the Philippine treasury of $103 million, with using the money to secretly buy several Manhattan office buildings and with defrauding US banks of $165 million.

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