The acquittal of three former Barclays executives on fraud charges linked to the bank raising billions from Qatar prompted Aziz Rahman, Senior Partner at Rahman Ravelli, to class the case as yet another example of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) suffering defeat as a result of its own poor judgement.
“This is another high-profile defeat for the SFO. It is a crushing loss that should be seen by the SFO as a painful lesson that it needs to heed.
“Barclays itself has already been acquitted. The SFO did all it could to shoehorn these charges into court and, as a result, it has been left with egg on its face. The fact that it had to go to such lengths to ensure this case came to court should have been a clear warning to it about the case’s lack of strength.
“While it is too early to say, there is the possibility that this could reshape the SFO’s thinking when it comes to dealing with individuals after the company has already been dealt with. In this case, the SFO has been dogged in its pursuit of individuals and that pursuit has ended in failure.
“Unfortunately for the SFO, this seems to be a routine that is being played out with monotonous regularity.’’