Manila seeks two Germans in graft case

1st March 2005, Comments 0 comments

1 March 2005, MANILA - The Philippines will seek the extradition of two German executives charged with graft in connection with an expropriated airport terminal, but who are suspected to have left the country, a state prosecutor said on Tuesday. Chief state prosecutor Dennis Villa Ignacio said he was optimistic the Department of Justice (DOJ) can help trace the whereabouts of Hans Arthur Vogel and Bernd Struck, who have been ordered arrested by the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court. Vogel and Struck were repr

1 March 2005

MANILA - The Philippines will seek the extradition of two German executives charged with graft in connection with an expropriated airport terminal, but who are suspected to have left the country, a state prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Chief state prosecutor Dennis Villa Ignacio said he was optimistic the Department of Justice (DOJ) can help trace the whereabouts of Hans Arthur Vogel and Bernd Struck, who have been ordered arrested by the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court.

Vogel and Struck were representatives of Germany's Fraport AG in the Philippine International Airport Terminals Co. Inc. (PIATCO), which constructed the new terminal at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

They were among several people, including five transportation officials, charged with graft for allegedly conspiring to award the project to PIATCO despite a deal disadvantageous to the government.

"We will try to coordinate with the DOJ to request the extradition of the two," Villa Ignacio said. "We will try all possible legal avenues to bring them to the bar of justice. We want them to face trial here. They should be brought back."

The Sandiganbayan issued arrest warrants against the two Germans as a matter of procedure since they have not posted bail on the graft charges, unlike their Filipino co-defendants.

Officials said the two German executives might have left the country shortly after PIATCO's contract was nullified by the Supreme Court in 2003 due to alleged irregularities in several provisions.

Last year, the Philippine government expropriated the new NAIA terminal despite international arbitration.

Germany has urged Manila to compensate Fraport, warning that an unsatisfactory solution to the controversy could adversely affect efforts to promote investments in the Philippines.

PIATCO is demanding USD 565 million in compensation and has filed an arbitration case before the Singapore-based International Chamber of Commerce.

Fraport, which has a 30 percent stake in the project, is seeking USD 465 million in compensation and has filed a separate arbitration case before the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington D.C.

DPA

Subject: German news 

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