A court in the Philippines did not issue an international arrest warrant for “premeditated murder” against Bill Gates over deaths from COVID-19 vaccines, a Gates spokesperson told Reuters, refuting claims online. The claims stem from a website that cites the Heinous Crimes Court in Manila. But no such entity appears to exist.
One tweet said: “An arrest warrant was just issued for BILL GATES?!” and “Yes! This is REAL!!” (here). Another example of the claim is viewable (here).
Some users are sharing the claim alongside a March 2 story on NewsPunch that says: “Bill Gates Arrest Warrant Issued in Philippines For ‘Premeditated Murder’ Linked To Vaccine Roll Out” (archive.is/azhdX).
NewsPunch is a U.S.-based website that has been debunked by Reuters Fact Check in the past (here), (here), (here).
A Gates spokesperson told Reuters that a Philippines court had not issued an arrest warrant for Gates due to the COVID-19 vaccine. Reuters has not been able to find any credible news reports to support the claim.
The NewsPunch story says the Heinous Crimes Court in Manila, Philippines, issued the supposed arrest warrant for Gates. However, Diane Desierto, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame who also taught at the University of the Philippines College of Law (here), told Reuters via email “there is no such thing as a Heinous Crimes Court” in the Philippines.
“Special courts are created under the administrative authority of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, and I have not seen any Supreme Court issuance creating such a court.”
A list of Philippine courts can be seen (here) and a description of the court system can be found (here).
“Heinous crimes, and crimes in general, are tried in Regional Trial Courts,” as there is no Heinous Crimes Court created by law, Mike Tiu, an assistant professor at the University of the Philippines College of Law, told Reuters via email.
NewsPunch and the Supreme Court of the Philippines did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
False. Bill Gates was not issued an international arrest warrant by a Philippine court, a Gates spokesperson told Reuters.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts (here).
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.