MIAMI — A Filipino congressman accused of making illegal campaign donations to former President Clinton and other Democratic politicians appeared in court Monday for the first time since arriving in the United States.
Mark B. Jimenez, dressed in an olive jail uniform, spoke only to identify himself during a brief hearing before U.S. Magistrate Ted Bandstra. Lawyers for Jimenez are scheduled to request his release on bond today.
Facing a U.S. extradition request, Jimenez, who turns 56 today, voluntarily left the Philippines last week. A federal indictment alleges that Jimenez used corporate money to reimburse employees for illegal donations to Clinton and other politicians.
The employees worked for a computer-parts distribution business owned by Jimenez and a company owned by a relative; both were based in Miami. Jimenez was accused of illegally routing $50,000 to the Democratic National Committee and $33,500 to campaign committees.
From 1994 to 1996, the money went to Clinton, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Robert Torricelli of New Jersey, Senate candidates Roger Bedford in Alabama and Thomas Strickland in Colorado, and House candidate Ann Henry in Arkansas, the indictment said.
As a citizen of the Philippines, Jimenez could not legally contribute to American political campaigns.
During the hearing Monday, attorney Abbe Lowell asked prosecutors to release records of a medical exam conducted after his client arrived Sunday at Miami International Airport. Lowell later declined to comment.
Jimenez, who is being held at a federal facility in Miami, faces arraignment Jan. 13. Two Filipino congressmen -- Prospero Pichay and Willie Villarama -- have traveled to Miami to support Jimenez.