EXCLUSIVE-Former Marcos aide to be charged in painting disappearance -source

Karen Freifeld
Reuters Middle East

NEW YORK, Nov 19 (Reuters) - A former aide to one-time

Phillipine first lady Imelda Marcos is expected to be charged on

Tuesday in New York with crimes relating to paintings that

disappeared after the fall of the Marcos government, according

to a person familiar with the investigation.

Vilma Bautista, a New York resident and one-time secretary

to Imelda Marcos, will be charged by the Manhattan District

Attorney in connection with four paintings in her possession,

including some by Impressionist artists, said another source.

Some of the paintings hung in a Manhattan town house used by

Imelda Marcos when her husband, the late President Ferdinand

Marcos, was in power, one person said.

The probe comes a quarter century after the Philippine

dictator was forced out by an uprising and fled the country in


Bautista, who is in her 70s, could not immediately be

reached for comment. Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman for Manhattan

District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., declined comment.

Imelda Marcos, known for her extravagant lifestyle and

thousands of shoes, is not expected to face charges in the case.

Ferdinand Marcos died in 1989.

The Philippine government filed corruption charges against

the strongman and his wife in 1987, seeking tens of billions of

dollars in damages for plundering the nation's wealth, including

illegal expensive works of art, clothes and jewelry.

(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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