Cedric Lee now in NBI custody

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

MANILA (Updated) -- Businessman Cedric Lee and his friend Simeon "Zimmer" Raz, both accused in the alleged mauling of actor and television host Vhong Navarro, are now under the National Bureau of Investigation's (NBI) custody.

Lee and Raz were transferred Sunday to Manila from Eastern Samar, where they were arrested Saturday in connection with the serious illegal detention and grave coercion cases filed against them in relation to the mauling incident at a luxury condominium in Taguig City last January 22.

The plane carrying the two landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) around 8 a.m. Sunday. Lee and Raz were immediately brought to the NBI headquarters on Taft Avenue where they were booked.

A radio report said the two are temporarily detained at the NBI headquarters pending the commitment order from the Taguig judges handling the grave coercion and serious illegal detention cases against them.

The NBI took mugshots and fingerprints of the accused.

Lee and Raz will be presented tomorrow, Monday, at the Taguig Regional Trial Court (RTC).

"My instruction is for them to be brought to Manila ASAP. They will be detained first at the NBI detention facility pending the commitment order from RTC-Taguig," said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima following their arrest Saturday morning in Oras, Eastern Samar.

The businessman's lawyer, Howard Calleja, said the two surrendered to the authorities for their safety.

The arrest warrants for grave coercion cases were issued by the Taguig Metropolitan Trial Court branch 74 against Lee, Raz, model/stylist Deniece Cornejo, Bernice Lee, Jed Fernandez, Ferdinand Guerrero and Jose Paolo Calma last April 11.

Cornejo, Bernice Lee and Fernandez were able to post P12,000 bail for their temporary freedom.

A separate warrant for serious illegal detention, a non-bailable offense, was then issued by the Taguig RTC branch 271 last April 15 for the accused, except Bernice Lee and Calma.

Lee said they beat up Navarro because the actor allegedly tried to rape Cornejo at her condominium unit in Taguig.

The Department of Justice (DOJ), however, found no truth to Lee's claims.

Lee is also facing a multi-million peso tax evasion complaint at the DOJ, which will undergo preliminary investigation starting on Monday. (Third Anne Peralta/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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