DAVAO CITY, Philippines, Nov. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Two British businessmen Mr William West and Mr William P McLucas have become "international fugitives from justice" as Judge Silverio M Mandalupe on November 27 2013 issued warrants of arrest for "fraud in conspiracy" in Criminal Case Number No 146,525.
Judge Silverio M Mandalupe is the Presiding Judge of Branch Three of the Philippine Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Davao City, Philippines. The accused Mr West resides in London, England, and Mr McLucas resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. Both are involved in the global mining industry as financiers and operators.
During the arraignment hearing, Atty Magnolia Quidet, legal counsel for accused Messrs West and McLucas, attempted to further delay proceedings by filing a last minute Omnibus Motion on what were procedural matters that under the Rules of Court may be argued after the accused have been arraigned .
The Court too was aware that Atty Magnolia Quidet, at the first arraignment hearing on October 30 2013, argued for a postponement on the grounds that her clients "wanted to appear in person before the Court to be arraigned" . However, as busy international businessmen, they had to set their schedules in advance. At that time, the Court granted a non-extendable extension to November 27, 2013.Neither Mr William West nor Mr William P McLucas appeared in court. After reviewing the Omnibus Motion and hearing opposing Counsels' argument, presiding Judge Silverio M Mandalupe denied the Omnibus Motion in accordance with Philippine Law and Rules of Court. He then ordered Warrants of Arrest for Mr William West and for Mr William McLucas be issued for "fraud in conspiracy". Fugitives from Justice With the issuance of the Warrants of Arrest both Mr William West and Mr William McLucas are now deemed to be international "Fugitives from Justice" with a criminal case for "fraud in conspiracy". According to Atty Efren L Donaire, the private prosecutor, the actions of the accused Mr William West and Mr William P McLucas seems to indicate that, because they are international businessmen and reside outside the Philippines, they are above the Law. "As international businessmen surely know that they cannot ignore the national laws of any nation and give it a "black eye" nor can they run away and hide from paying their debts.