Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations


Monday, 16 July 2018

Japan enters into first bribery plea bargain

Prosecutors in Tokyo have agreed the country’s inaugural plea bargain to resolve bribery allegations with power plant builder Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, the Japan Times reports.

Prosecutors reportedly offered the company the deal in exchange for information on the employee believed to have orchestrated the alleged bribery scheme.

According to the Japan Times, the individual allegedly bribed a Thai civil servant in 2013 in an attempt to win a contract for transport work linked to a Thai power plant contract.

Japan introduced plea bargains in June. Under the system, companies and individuals are eligible for a leniency agreement provided they hand over evidence that could lead to charges against other individuals or companies.

Brazil charges former Vantage Drilling CEO with corruption

Brazil’s Federal Prosecution Service (MPF) charged Paul Bragg, the former CEO of US oil company Vantage Drilling, with corruption and money laundering on 12 July, according to a statement from the agency.

The MPF charged Bragg for his alleged role in a scheme to pay $31 million in bribes to an executive of Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras. Prosecutors said that the evidence against Bragg mainly consists of emails he sent. Bragg has not commented publicly on the charges. 

Vantage Drilling entered into an in-principle $5 million settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in May to resolve the Petrobras bribery allegations. 

Euribor banker prepared to challenge verdict at human rights court

A former Barclays trader convicted in the UK of conspiring to manipulate the Euribor rate will appeal the decision on human rights grounds, his lawyer says.

Philippe Moryoussef was found guilty in July following a UK Serious Fraud Office investigation into the alleged manipulation of the interbank interest rate.  

In a statement, Moryoussef’s lawyer, François De Castro at De Castro et Stasse in Paris, said the guilty verdict was unsound because manipulating Euribor was not a crime during the period 2006 to 2009, when the alleged wrongdoing took place.

He said Moryoussef was willing to eventually refer the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Monaco court annuls proceedings against former SBM Offshore employee

The Court of Monaco has reportedly annulled criminal proceedings initiated by SBM Offshore, a Dutch oilfield services company, against former employee Jonathan Taylor.

The court reportedly found in a judgment on 5 June that Taylor’s rights under the European Convention of Human Rights had been breached.

Taylor’s lawyer, Otto Volgenant at Dutch firm Boekx, reportedly said that SBM had falsely accused Taylor “of blackmail and/or extortion” surrounding the release of information about SBM’s alleged corrupt practices, according to reports. Taylor himself has always claimed to be a whistleblower. 

Volgenant reportedly said that SBM is unwilling to rehabilitate his client, and that they will continue proceedings in the Netherlands to attempt to clear Taylor’s name.

SBM Offshore settled foreign bribery investigations with Dutch authorities in 2014, and with the US Department of Justice in late 2017, while a third probe, in Brazil, continues.

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