Sandiganbayan allows ex-Czech envoy to testify in MRT graft case through video call

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Former MRT General Manager Al Vitangcol is facing graft charges for allegedly extorting millions in dollars from Inekon for the supply of additional light rail vehicles and maintenance of the MRT. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 6) — In a reversal of its earlier ruling, the country's anti-graft court allowed former Czech ambassador to the Philippines Josef Rychtar to testify remotely in a graft case against then MRT General Manager Al Vitangcol.

In a July 3 ruling, the Sandiganbayan's Sixth Division said the video call testimonies of both Rychtar and Czech-based firm Inekon's board chairman Josef Husek will now be allowed.

On April 24, the court ruled that Rychtar and Husek could not testify remotely -- after saying they could not come to the Philippines.

The court also said the prosecution has shown the necessity of their testimony but it also noted that the court currently does not have the equipment necessary for video conferencing.

Rychtar, now ambassador to Chile, will testify from the Philippine embassy in Santiago, Child, while Husek will testify from the Philippine embassy in the Czech Republic.

Vitangcol is facing graft charges for allegedly extorting millions in dollars from Inekon for the supply of additional light rail vehicles and maintenance of the MRT.

CNN Philippines' AC Nicholls contributed to this report.