Former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos tortured and otherwise violated the human rights of thousands of political opponents during his 20-year reign, a federal jury ruled.
The verdict Thursday in a class-action lawsuit marks the first time any court has found that Marcos systematically tortured his citizens, as rebels, human rights advocates and others have said.It was the first lawsuit in the United States claiming human rights violations in another country.
During testimony, which ended Tuesday, jurors heard stories of torture, disappearances and army killings under Marcos.
A separate trial will be held on how much Marcos' estate must pay the plaintiffs. No date had been set. Evidence gathered by human-rights groups indicates there could be as many as 10,000 victims of Marcos' regime, according to plaintiffs' attorneys.
The lawsuit seeks damages of $2 million for each torture victim and $3 million for each of those killed or missing.