Italian diplomat, Daniele Bosio, 46, detained in the Philippines on child abuse charges, asserted his innocence when he appeared before the court on Wednesday, June 18, 2014.
Bosio, who is in apparent worsening health and attended the proceedings with his arm attached to an intravenous drip, put forth his innocence and requested for bail before a court in Binan in Laguna, a province two hours south of Manila. He seemed unsteady on his feet, as he stumbled out of a heavily guarded police vehicle and into the court room.
The arraignment, which was scheduled for that day, was suspended by presiding judge, Theodore Solis, after Bosio’s lawyers appealed his indictment and requested, instead, for a bail hearing.
“We asked for the reversal of the ruling of the prosecutor (because) he was deprived of due process,” Romeo Lumagui, Bosio’s lawyer, said.
“He insists that he did nothing wrong, he did not violate any law.”
The diplomat, Italy’s ambassador to Turkmenistan at the time of the accusations, was on vacation in the Philippines in April of 2014 when he was arrested after a children’s advocacy group reported to police that they saw him “acting inappropriately” in the company of three boys, aged nine to 12, at a water fun park near Manila.
In their sworn statements given to government social workers , the boys said that prior to taking them to the park, Bosio had “fondled their sex organs.”
Bosio was subsequently charged with three counts of violating the country’s child abuse law, and three counts of human trafficking, charges which carry jail terms of between six years and life.
To his defense, Bosio denied acting inappropriately with the boys and said that he was only showing the children some compassion by taking then to have fun at the water park, and this was all part of his longtime mission to help underprivileged children.
In support of Bosio, the administrator of Breakthrough of Christians Academy, a school in Laguna, said that he has helped students and disadvantaged children there for many years, and that the diplomat was one of the school’s important benefactors.
Case prosecutor, Agripino Baybay, however, rejected Bosio’s argument, saying that the allegations made by the three boys against Bosio merited a serious investigation.
Shortly after his arrest, Bosio was suspended from his post by Italy’s foreign ministry.
Likewise following his arrest, Bosio was detained in a cell no bigger than a garage, which he shared with 80 other inmates. Along with other medical problems, this, according to Bosio’s younger brother, Andreas, contributed to the diplomat’s deteriorating health.
“He is seriously ill,” he said, adding that Bosio had “kidney problems”.
Bosio was transferred to a hospital on May 14, where he has remained in confinement under police watch.