Wearing a regal gown, former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos was fingerprinted, photographed and ordered to remain here until she can come up with $5 million bail to face a racketeering trial.
"I'm not going to let the lady go back to the Hawaiian Islands until I'm certain the bail is set," U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan said after Mrs. Marcos pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Monday.Mrs. Marcos, who lives in exile in Honolulu with her husband, former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, brushed away tears.
Keenan ordered her to return to court Thursday with her attorneys if the lawyers have not worked out a bail agreement with prosecutors by then.
Mrs. Marcos, 59, was then fingerprinted and had her mug shot taken by federal marshals before being released temporarily without bail. Keenan instructed her not to leave the New York area.
She blew a kiss to a crowd outside the federal courthouse before departing for her midtown Manhattan hotel.
The Marcoses were indicted Oct. 21 on charges they plundered the Philippine treasury of $103 million, spirited the money out of their country and into foreign bank accounts, and used it to buy prime Manhattan real estate and art.
Mrs. Marcos' arrival at the courthouse for her arraignment was dramatic. A seven-car caravan, including two stretch limousines, pulled up to the courthouse.
The waiting crowd was momentarily stunned when the former first lady stepped out of her limo. She wore a bright aquamarine, chiffon gown with traditional Filipino butterfly sleeves and pearl earrings. Mrs. Marcos, who gained notoriety for the thousands of pairs of shoes found in the presidential palace after her husband's ouster in February 1986, wore simple black, high-heeled pumps.
"She doesn't look like she's going to court, she looks like she's going to a dance ball," said Ziyad Barq, a designer who stopped at the courthouse to see what all the fuss was about.
At least a dozen protesters greeted Mrs. Marcos and her entourage of at least a dozen people, chanting "Justice, justice must prevail! Send the Marcoses to jail!"
A woman wearing a black cape and vampire fangs held up a sign reading, "Imelda, bloodsucker of the Filipino people."
Detractors' shouts drowned out those of supporters, who occasionally called out, "We love you, Imelda."
Most of the hearing, in a court packed with 200 artists, reporters and spectators, was taken up with lawyers arguing over the amount of bail.