Two Germans sought in Philippine graft case

24th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

24 February 2005, MANILA - A Philippine anti-graft court on Thursday ordered law enforcement authorities to hunt down two German executives charged with graft in connection with a controversial airport terminal project. Ed Urieta, sheriff of the Standiganbayan anti-graft court, said the police and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has been tapped by the tribunal to serve arrest warrants against Hans Arthur Vogel and Bernd Struck. Vogel and Struck were representatives of Germany's Fraport AG in the

24 February 2005

MANILA - A Philippine anti-graft court on Thursday ordered law enforcement authorities to hunt down two German executives charged with graft in connection with a controversial airport terminal project.

Ed Urieta, sheriff of the Standiganbayan anti-graft court, said the police and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has been tapped by the tribunal to serve arrest warrants against Hans Arthur Vogel and Bernd Struck.

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 Manilas'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 have sent copies of the arrest warrants to the NBI and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the national police," Urieta said.

The Sandiganbayan issued the 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.

Diplomatic sources warned the issuance of the arrest warrants against Vogel and Struck could further strain relations between the Philippines and Germany over the airport project.

"An adverse reaction is expected from Germany," a source at the Department of Foreign Affairs said. "Of course, it would have an impact on our diplomatic ties with the Germans."

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.

Last week, Germany 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.

DPA

Subject: German news

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