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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesTuesday, April 2, 2013
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Australian readies charges
against Filipino kidnappers

MANILA Freed Australian hostage Warren Rodwell met with a Philippine prosecutor yesterday to help prepare charges against the Islamic extremists who held him in captivity for 15 months.

A gaunt, grim-looking Rodwell, who was in a wheelchair and escorted by Australian embassy personnel, filed a statement describing his ordeal before assistant prosecutor Aristotle Reyes at the Justice Department in Manila.

"This is to process the investigation of the case. The statement can be used by the PNP (Philippine National Police) to pursue a complaint," said Reyes, without disclosing details of the statement.

Armed men posing as police abducted Rodwell, 54, from his home in a coastal town of Mindanao in December, 2011, and demanded $2 million for his safe release.

The militants freed a deeply emaciated Rodwell on March 23 after a payment, reportedly of four million pesos (nearly $100,000), was made.

Authorities say the Abu Sayyaf, a small group of militants based in lawless islands of Mindanao and designated by the US government as a terrorist organization, was responsible for the kidnapping.*AFP

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