London judge discharges jury in landmark Barclays Qatar case

Workers are seen in at Barclays bank offices in the Canary Wharf financial district in London. (Reuters)
Updated 08 April 2019
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London judge discharges jury in landmark Barclays Qatar case

  • Jury discharged in landmark trial
  • Reporting restrictions in place

LONDON: A London jury has been discharged in a landmark fraud trial of four former Barclays executives accused of paying Qatar undisclosed fees to help rescue the bank at the height of the credit crisis in 2008.
Judge Robert Jay told the jury at Southwark Crown Court on Monday he was required to discharge them. No further details could be published due to continued reporting restrictions.
Former chief executive John Varley, Roger Jenkins, Tom Kalaris and Richard Boath are charged with conspiring to commit fraud by false representation when Barclays raised more than 11 billion pounds ($14 billion) from investors in 2008, allowing the British bank to avoid a state bailout.
Prosecutors allege the bankers excluded from public documents and hid from other investors around 322 million pounds in fees paid to the Qatari investors through so-called advisory service agreements (ASAs).
The defendants deny wrongdoing and said they had relied on legal advice.
The prosecution, brought by the UK Serious Fraud Office, is the first jury trial of a leading bank’s CEO over conduct during the financial crisis.
Qatari investors plowed around 4 billion pounds into Barclays during two fund raisings in June and October 2008.


Egypt agrees to pay Israel $500 million to end gas dispute

Updated 49 min 29 sec ago
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Egypt agrees to pay Israel $500 million to end gas dispute

CAIRO: Egypt says it has struck a deal with the state-owned Israel Electric Corp. to settle a fine for halting deliveries of natural gas.
A statement from Egypt’s Petroleum Ministry said the settlement deal, which was signed Sunday, would reduce the $1.7 billion fine to $500 million.
It says Egypt will pay the amount over eight and a half years.
In return, the Israeli company would drop other claims resulting from a 2015 arbitration decision.
Israel Electric had sued the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Egyptian Natural Gas after a 2005 deal to export natural gas to Israel collapsed in 2012 amid militant attacks on a pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula, where Egypt has been battling insurgency for years.
Israel relied on the pipeline to meet its energy needs.