With verdicts coming through in the long-running Unaoil investigation, Rahman Ravelli’s Aziz Rahman was asked for his thoughts by a wide range of national and international publications. Aziz detailed his thoughts on the case:
“This has been a high-profile case arising from an investigation that has had moments of drama. The trial of three executives accused of paying bribes to win oil contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraq was always going to attract a lot of attention.
“As a result, today’s verdicts have to be viewed as a very visible acid test of the Serious Fraud Office’s prosecution skills. It is a test that the SFO has come through with a modest amount of success. Both charges have been proven against one defendant, only one out of two charges has been proven against another and the jury has failed to reach a decision regarding the two charges faced by a third defendant. The SFO has clearly been unable to convince a jury of all aspects of its case.
“The verdicts are likely to see the SFO facing some questions about whether it made best use of its time and resources during this investigation and whether the approach it took was the right one. From the SFO’s point of view, the verdicts are a mixed bag. After its failure to secure convictions in the Barclays Qatar fundraising case – which was also a lengthy investigation – a matter of months ago, these verdicts may not persuade the SFO’s critics that it is improving."