Author: Azizur Rahman 10 January 2022
With the Attorney General set to examine the way the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) functions, Law360 asked Rahman Ravelli’s Aziz Rahman what issues the investigation should focus on.
The investigation was prompted by the Court of Appeal quashing the bribery conviction of Unaoil executive Ziad Akle. Akle’s conviction was found to be unsafe by the Court of Appeal because the SFO had withheld details of inappropriate contact the agency’s director, Lisa Osofsky, and senior officials had with a representative of other suspects in the case.
Aziz told Law360 that the SFO’s disclosure strategy needed to be one aspect of the investigation. He explained that it still remained to be seen whether there was top level decision-making at the SFO in refusing to provide the defence with relevant disclosure.
He emphasised that it is usually the case that heads will roll when an organisation or an individual is found to be at fault.
He added: "The fact that the actions of the SFO director herself are at the centre of this probe makes it particularly notable, as the issue of whether her position is tenable is likely to be up for consideration.’’
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Aziz Rahman is Senior Partner at Rahman Ravelli and its founder. His ability to coordinate national, international and multi-agency defences has led to success in some of the most significant corporate crime cases of this century and top rankings in international legal guides. He is recognised worldwide as one of the most capable legal experts regarding top-level, high-value commercial and financial disputes.