Clooney's lawyer fiancee wants to help Arroyo

Posted at 05/04/14 11:37 AM

Lawyer Amal Alamuddin is pictured during a press conference in London on November 5, 2012. Photo by Justin Tallis, Agence France Presse

MANILA - Amal Alamuddin, an international human rights lawyer and fiancée of Hollywood star George Clooney, has expressed intention of bringing the case of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo before the United Nations.

Alamuddin said the continued detention of Arroyo has apparently violated her human rights.

According The STAR columnist Carmen Pedrosa, the Lebanese-born British barrister recently visited Manila following a speaking engagement in Singapore and was apprised of the case of the former leader.

Arroyo, reelected as representative of Pampanga’s second congressional district, is under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City facing non-bailable charges of plunder.

Alamuddin’s mother, Al-Hayat foreign editor Baria Alamuddin, is Pedrosa’s long-time friend whom she met in London where the columnist lived when she was in exile.

“By the time she (Alamuddin) was on her way to London she committed to help former President Arroyo by advising her on her rights under international law,” Pedrosa said.

“This was not about power politics but about human rights and every individual was entitled to it, she said,” she said.

“Even political enemies have rights,” Pedrosa quoted Alamuddin as saying.

Lawyers of Arroyo, 67, have filed several petitions for bail before the Sandiganbayan, where her case is lodged, citing the weak evidence against her and her frail health.

Pedrosa said Alamuddin told her of her work as a lawyer, including her handling of the case of Cambodia against Thailand fighting over the Temple of Preah Vihear straddling the border of the two countries.

Alamuddin also represented Cambodia in inter-state territorial claim before the International Court of Justice, The Hague; and Prosecutor v Senussi and Gaddafi, where she represented Abdallah Al Senussi, former Libyan intelligence chief, in the case of alleged crimes against humanity before the ICJ; and Tymoshenko vs. Ukraine, representing Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian prime minister.

Alamuddin also represented Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a human rights claim before the European Court of Human Rights in Sweden, along with other high-profile international cases.

“That is the beauty of the engagement between Amal Alamuddin, the human rights international lawyer, and George Clooney. Whatever human rights case Amal will now handle would have the built-in publicity of being engaged to the Hollywood actor,” Pedrosa said.

She said Clooney is not just a popular actor but has also taken up advocacies for peace in Sudan and Syria, which was what brought the couple together in the first place.

Clooney was UN special messenger of peace for six years and has become active for other advocacies, Pedrosa said.

“Amal will bring in the interest and the push needed in the world for human rights violations with George Clooney of Hollywood by her side,” Pedrosa said.