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Former Philippine President Estrada Testifies at His Trial

Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada is testifying for the second time at his five-year old graft trial.

Mr. Estrada told the (Sandiganbayan) anti-graft court in suburban Manila today (Wednesday) that he had no knowledge of documents submitted by the prosecution showing he had received kickbacks from excise taxes.

One of his attorneys (Rene Saguisag) also disputed prosecution claims that more than two million dollars in tobacco taxes were delivered to Mr. Estrada's house.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the court today to support Mr. Estrada, who is accused of plunder for allegedly amassing 78 million dollars through illegal gambling payoffs, tax kickbacks and commissions.

If found guilty, he could face the death penalty.

Mr. Estrada was driven from office in 2001 by a popular protest movement, backed by the military and the nation's most powerful families.