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ARANETA V. UNITED STATES, 478 U. S. 1301 (1986)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Araneta v. United States, 478 U.S. 1301 (1986)

Araneta v. United States

No. A-18

Decided July 19, 1986

478 U.S. 1301


An application by a daughter and son-in-law of former President Marcos of the Philippines to stay the District Court's contempt order, requiring their incarceration if they failed to testify on July 22, 1986, before a federal grand jury investigating alleged corruption relating to arms contracts made with the Philippine Government, is granted, conditioned upon applicants' filing a petition for certiorari by August 5, 1986. Applicants contended that requiring them to testify would violate their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination because their testimony might be used against them in related criminal proceedings currently pending in the Philippines. The District Court granted the United States' motion to give applicants use and derivative use immunity as to criminal prosecutions in the United States, and also entered a restrictive order to protect the secrecy of their testimony, holding that the constitutional question was not presented because they had not demonstrated a real and substantial danger of prosecution abroad. The Court of Appeals affirmed on different grounds, finding that applicants faced a substantial possibility of prosecution in the Philippines; that the District Court's restrictive order was insufficient to protect against disclosures to the Philippine Government; that therefore the constitutional question was presented; and that the Fifth Amendment privilege was not violated simply because compelled testimony might be used in a foreign prosecution. The application for a stay is granted because (1) there is a reasonable probability that four Justices will vote to grant certiorari to consider the issue whether the Fifth Amendment privilege protects a witness from being compelled to give testimony that may later be used against him in a foreign prosecution; (2) there is a fair prospect that a majority of the Justices will decide the issue in applicants' favor; and (3) a balancing of the equities weighs in applicants' favor. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 478 U. S. 1302

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