Bautista was reportedly indicted in New York last year on charges that include conspiracy, tax fraud, illegally selling the Monet painting, Le Bassin aux Nymphease, as well as trying to sell other valuable paintings.
The Huffpost explains:
The artwork vanished amid Ferdinand Marcos' 1986 ouster, ended up in Bautista's hands and is part of a multibillion-dollar roster of property the Philippines claims the Marcoses acquired with the nation's cash, prosecutors said.
But for all the art-world intricacies and Philippine politics, "at bottom, this case is really quite simple — it's about greed and fraud," Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Garrett Lynch told jurors in an opening statement.
The defense said Bautista believed that Imelda Marcos rightfully owned the paintings and that Bautista had authority to sell them for her. Bautista is just an intermediary who got caught up in a decades-long dispute between a nation and its former leader, attorney Susan Hoffinger said.
"That battle doesn't belong here" in a Manhattan criminal courtroom, Hoffinger said in her opening.This will be an interesting case to follow.
Source: HuffPost, 16 October 2013
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