In 2003, British and US troops invaded Iraq and ousted Saddam Hussein on the false pretence that he had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs). Afterwards a new pro-Western government took over and began handing out lucrative contracts in the oil industry, some of which were corrupt.
A third man has been convicted after a trial was told US$6 million in bribes were paid to Iraqi officials to secure contracts worth US$800 million in Iraq’s oil industry between 2005 and 2011.
Englishman Paul Bond, 69, was convicted on two counts of conspiracy to give corrupt payments following a retrial at Southwark Crown Court.
Last year, another jury was unable to reach a verdict in his case but convicted Stephen Whiteley, 65, and Ziad Akle, 45, of conspiracy to give corrupt payments to Oday Al Quoraishi, an official in Iraq’s state-owned South Oil Company.
Whiteley and Akle worked for Monaco-based Unaoil while Bond worked for one of Unaoil’s clients, a Dutch company, SBM Offshore.
Akle was jailed for five years in July 2020 and Whiteley for three years. Bond will be sentenced later on Friday, 26 February.
Unaoil’s former Iraq partner, Basil Al Jarah, pleaded guilty and was jailed for three years and four months.
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office, which brought the case, said Bond and the others “took advantage of a government reeling from dictatorship and occupation…(to) line their own pockets.”
She said: “We are proud to have ensured the four men will be punished for…