By Kirstin Ridley
LONDON (Reuters) – The most senior bankers to face legal prices in Britain over conduct throughout the monetary disaster will seem earlier than a London jury subsequent week in a trial that can check the mettle of the Serious Fraud Office.
Former Barclays (L:) CEO John Varley and three one-time colleagues stand charged over offers with Qatari traders to safe cash injections that allowed the financial institution, that may hint its origins again to round 1690, to outlive the disaster a decade in the past.
The trial, scheduled to start on Monday and slated to final for as much as 4 months, is anticipated to start with prolonged authorized, procedural arguments earlier than prosecutors open their case.
Varley, who married into one of many households that helped construct Barclays, Roger Jenkins, the one-time chairman of the Middle Eastern banking arm, Tom Kalaris, an American former wealth division CEO and Richard Boath, a former European divisional head, are charged with conspiracy to commit fraud.
Varley, famend for trademark shiny braces and Jenkins, now primarily based in California, additionally face a separate cost of illegal monetary help – a follow of corporations lending cash to fund the acquisition of their very own stock.
Lawyers for Boath and Kalaris declined to remark, whereas authorized representatives for the opposite defendants didn’t reply to requests for remark.
When prices have been filed in June 2017, a lawyer for Jenkins mentioned his shopper would vigorously defend himself in opposition to the allegations. Boath mentioned on the time he had no case to reply.
Barclays secured round 12 billion kilos ($15 billion) in emergency funds from primarily Gulf traders as markets plunged in 2008, permitting it to keep away from the state bailouts taken by rivals Royal Bank of Scotland (L:) and Lloyds (L:).
Qatar Holding – a part of the Qatar Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund – and Challenger, an funding car of former Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, invested about 6 billion kilos within the financial institution.
But the SFO, which prosecutes severe white collar crime, has charged the lads over “capital raising arrangements” with Qatar Holding and Challenger in June and October 2008 and a $3 billion mortgage facility Barclays made out there to Qatar in November 2008.
Qatar, a significant investor in Britain, has not been accused of wrongdoing.
Lawyers say the efficiency of the SFO will probably be below as a lot scrutiny as that of the well-heeled defendants after a courtroom threw out its separate prices in opposition to Barclays over the capital elevating – and a decide final month halted its prosecution of former senior Tesco (L:) grocery store managers mid-trial.
Lisa Osofsky, who took the highest job on the company final August, has stood again from dealing with the Barclays case due to a possible battle of curiosity linked to her earlier work.
The new 12 months has started briskly for the SFO. Its retrial of three former Barclays merchants accused of plotting to rig Euribor international rates of interest kicks off on Jan. 14. A jury was unable to succeed in a verdict of their case final 12 months.
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