• USMCA chapter curtails use of trade panels in corruption, bribery disputes
    01 October 2018
    Text of the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement reaffirms rights and duties of the three countries to prosecute their own bribery cases that arise in trade disputes, reducing the power of a trade panel to hear such cases.

    The chapter also assuages a political criticism that multilateral trade accords sometimes replace national sovereign rights with unaccountable dispute resolution panels.

    Bribery cases are the domain of the signatory governments, according to the USMCA. It explicitly limits the power of the trade panels to handle corruption cases.

    By Robert Thomason

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  • Unaoil exec faces extradition to UK following Italy top court ruling
    26 September 2018
    A former Unaoil executive can be extradited to the UK, Italy’s top court has ruled, overturning a lower court’s decision.

    Saman Ahsani is wanted by the UK's Serious Fraud Office as part of its wide-ranging investigation into the Monaco-based oil services consultancy.

    In July, an Italian appeals court rejected the SFO’s attempt to extradite Ahsani because the executive was also under scrutiny in Italy. But the country’s Supreme Court in Rome last week overturned the July ruling.

    By Martin Coyle and Rodrigo Russo.

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  • Ex-Deutsche Bank traders requested Libor moves, cooperator testifies
    20 September 2018
    Former Deutsche Bank traders Matthew Connolly and Gavin Black put in requests to manipulate the interest rate Libor, a former colleague said in the first day of witness testimony in Connolly's and Black's trial on fraud charges.

    Both traders asked James King, a colleague at Deutsche Bank, to use his position to try to nudge the rate up or down to benefit their positions, King told jurors Thursday in New York federal court.

    "Sometimes I altered the rates because of a request from a trader to influence the rate, to make it lower or higher to benefit a trading position," King said. "I knew that was not right. That was wrong."

    By Richard Vanderford

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  • Extraditions to UK should continue until Brexit, top EU court rules
    19 September 2018
    EU member states should continue to extradite suspected criminals to the UK under the bloc’s arrest-warrant system until Brexit day, the EU’s top court has ruled.

    Judges today ruled that the UK’s decision to trigger Article 50 “does not have the consequence that . . . the executing member state must refuse to execute that European Arrest Warrant or postpone its execution.”

    Lawyers for the defendant in the case, Raymond O’Neill, an Irish citizen detained in Ireland wanted on charges of murder and rape, claimed that extraditing him to the UK under a European Arrest Warrant risked exposing him to “potential inhuman and degrading treatment” at Maghaberry Prison in Northern Ireland.

    By Michael Acton

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  • UK ban on 'small bribes' could limit companies post-Brexit, lawmakers told
    06 September 2018
    Engineering company KBR has lost its bid to prevent company documents held in the US being disclosed to the UK’s fraud agency.

    The Serious Fraud Office is seeking documents dating back 21 years to support its corruption probe into the company and some of its executives.

    The SFO has identified a "large number" of corrupt payments totalling more than $23 million made by KBR's UK subsidiaries to Monaco-based Unaoil, which is itself subject to an SFO probe. The agency says the payments were given approval by KBR's US-based finance function. The company’s US arm isn’t under investigation.

    By Martin Coyle.

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