Former Airbus unit paid £9.7mn in bribes to Saudi military, court told

A senior and close associate of Airbus’ subsidiary has paid a £ 9.7m bribe to Saudi Arabian military officials to secure contracts with the UK government, a court was told on Thursday.

Prosecution attorney Mark Haywood QC said the case concerns “deep corruption in overseas protection contracts” at the start of the trial in Southwork Crown Court.

Jeffrey Cook, 65, former CEO of GPT Special Project Management, a unit now shut down by the European Aerospace Group, and John Mason, 79, former CFO of two of GPT’s subcontractors, are on trial.

The two men, who deny the allegations, are accused of participating in a bribery scheme between 2007 and 2012 to win lucrative contracts from the UK government to provide military communications to the Saudi National National Guard, which protects the kingdom’s royal family.

Cook was also charged with misconduct in a public office between 2004 and 2008 for commissions paid to him for transactions made while working for the Department of Defense.

On Thursday, Haywood told the court that GPT paid £ 4 million a year to Simec, a foreign-registered foreign entity partly owned by Mason, which was then used to bribe senior Saudi officials. Mason was also Simec’s finance officer.

Haywood told the court that just over 12.3 percent of the total revenue raised by GPT “went out the door almost immediately” to subcontractors including Simec who eventually transferred them to the bank accounts of some Saudi National Guard members. “In one word the case is a case of ‘bribery’,” he said.

According to the lawsuit, more than 70% of the money was paid to Simk [received by the middlemen] “Pay straight… To people of high status,” including Prince Meitav bin Abdullah bin Abdullahiz, a member of the Saudi royal family, an educated Sandhurst.

Prince Meitav bin Abdullah bin Abdullahiz, Minister of National Guard of Saudi Arabia © Thomas Imo / Photothek / Getty Images

Other recipients included a Lebanese businessman with close ties to the king, the court said.

Haywood said Saudi people and brokers in the Saudi National Guard received a total payment of £ 9.7 million between 2007 and 2010, that they “did nothing legitimately” to make a profit.

Mason was “the one who got the money and made the payments, who did the accounting work and made sure their foreign officials and realtors got their share,” he said.

Cook was also paid “tens of thousands of pounds” and cars, a Nissan Micra and a Honda Civic, while working in the health ministry, which allowed him to “double his annual salary” by just over a year, Haywood said.

A former health ministry official, 81-year-old Terence Dorothy, was charged with “aiding and abetting this offense” but was found to be “not too good” to face trial and is not on trial.

The Ministry of Serious Fraud opened a criminal investigation into GPT in mid-2012.

Former Airbus unit paid £9.7mn in bribes to Saudi military, court told Source link Former Airbus unit paid £9.7mn in bribes to Saudi military, court told

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