EU court overturns asset freeze on alleged Filipino terrorist

Luxembourg - The European Union was wrong to freeze the assets of Jose Maria Sison, a Filipino national accused of heading a terrorist group in the Philippines, the EU's court ruled Wednesday.

Sison has lived in the Netherlands since 1987, but the authorities there have repeatedly refused to grant him asylum or a residence permit, saying that he is the head of Communist terrorist group the New People's Army in his homeland.

Basing itself on the Dutch verdicts, the EU placed Sison on its list of terrorists and ordered that his assets be frozen.

After repeated legal challenges, the EU's court in Luxembourg on Wednesday ruled that the Dutch verdicts "clearly do not involve any 'conviction' of Mr Sison, nor do they amount to decisions to 'instigate ... investigations or prosecute for a terrorist act'" - the legal grounds for an asset freeze.

The EU must therefore lift its freeze on Sison's funds, the court ruled.