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

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.


White House says Trump regrets not raising tariffs higher

US President Donald Trump arrives at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on Sunday. Trump had been trying to use the conference to rally global leaders to do more to stimulate their economies, as fears rise of a potential slowdown in the US ahead of his reelection. (AP)
Updated 18 min 46 sec ago

White House says Trump regrets not raising tariffs higher

  • President’s comments appear at first to mark a rare moment of self-reflection by the US leader

TOKYO: President Donald Trump said Sunday that he had second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China, but the White House later reversed that message saying the president was misinterpreted and that his only regret in hiking tariffs is that he didn’t raise them higher. Trump faced a tense reception from world leaders meeting amid mounting anxiety of a global economic slowdown at the Group of Seven summit in France. During a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trump suggested he had qualms about the spiraling conflict. “Yeah. For sure,” Trump told reporters when asked if he has second thoughts about escalating the dispute, adding he has “second thoughts about everything.”
But hours later, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement saying Trump’s comments about US tariffs on China were “greatly misinterpreted.”
She said Trump only responded “in the affirmative — because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher.” The comments appeared at first to mark a rare moment of self-reflection by the famously hard-nosed leader. But the later reversal fit a pattern for Trump in recoiling from statements he believes suggest weakness.

HIGHLIGHTS

• President Donald Trump faced a tense reception from world leaders meeting amid mounting anxiety of a global economic slowdown at the Group of Seven summit in France.

• White House said comments about US tariffs on China were ‘greatly misinterpreted.’

Trump had been trying to use the conference to rally global leaders to do more to stimulate their economies, as fears rise of a potential slowdown in the US ahead of his reelection. Trump’s counterparts, including Johnson, are trying to convince him to back off his trade wars with China and other countries, which they see as contributing to the economic weakening.

US-Japan agreement
Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Sunday a deal in principle on a major bilateral trade deal.
“It’s a very big transaction,” Trump said after talks with Abe on the sidelines of the G7 summit.
“Billions and billions of dollars,” he said. “It involves agriculture, it involves e-commerce. It involves many things. We’ve agreed in principle.”

Amazon fires
Also on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that world leaders at the G7 summit have agreed to help the countries affected by the huge wildfires ravaging the Amazon rainforest as soon as possible.
“We are all agreed on helping those countries which have been hit by the fires as fast as possible,” he told journalists.