Two more men have been charged with conspiring to pay bribes to secure Iraq contracts as a result of investigations into oil contractor Unaoil.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced that Stephen Whiteley, 62, from Aberdeen, and Paul Bond, 65, face accusations of making corrupt payments to secure the award of contracts in Iraq to Unaoil’s client, SBM Offshore.
According to the SFO, the charges relate to alleged corrupt conduct within Monaco-based Unaoil between June 2005 and August 2011.
Whiteley, formerly a vice president of SBM Offshore and Unaoil’s general territories manager for Iraq, Kazakhstan and Angola, faces one charge. France-based Bond, who was a senior sales manager with SBM Offshore, faces two counts.
Earlier this month the SFO charged two other men in connection with the investigation, which began in March last year.
Unaoil’s former Iraq partner Basil Al Jarah, 68, from Hull, and its former territory manager for Iraq, 42-year-old Ziad Akle, from London, have already been charged with conspiracy to make corrupt payments. A fifth man, Saman Ahsani, is subject to an extradition request to Monaco on related charges.
Only time will tell whether the SFO has a strong and winnable case against these men. There is little doubt that the four who have been charged will need robust, proactive defence from legal representatives - experts who are capable of challenging the assumptions, potential evidence and witnesses that the SFO will be relying on to seek convictions.
Read our article: DEFENDING SFO ACCUSATIONS