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Aust man acquitted on drugs in Philippines

AAP logoAAP 15/09/2016 Lauren Farrow and Yas Coles

An Australian man on trial for selling party drugs in the Philippines has been acquitted.

Damian John Berg, who could have faced life imprisonment were he convicted, was arrested in June accused of supplying drugs to Makati City and surrounding areas.

Following a trial, the 35-year-old was acquitted on Thursday, with the judge saying that CCTV video presented to court by Berg's defence contradicted the testimonies of police from the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group.

The court reiterated its support for the intensified government campaign against illegal drug activities but said the system must also protect innocent persons whose rights might be violated.

The decision comes amid a bloody crackdown by the government under the new president Rodrigo Duterte in which more than 2000 people have died.

Berg's trial heard the police case against him began when an informant approached them and alleged Canadian man Jeremy Eaton and Berg were selling party drugs in Makati City and surrounding areas.

Eaton allegedly told police his associate was Berg and that he was operating out of a nearby hotel Red Planet in Poblacion district in Makati City.

Staging a purchase, police allege Berg brought 50 ecstasy tablets with him to sell.

Within 30 minutes he was arrested near the hotel, the court heard.

But Berg's defence team said CCTV footage contradicted police evidence.

The Australian is expected to be released from prison on Thursday.

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