Saturday, June 19, 2004
Dick cheney to be indicted by French Magistrate judge?
Cheney may be indicted
<$Dick, Dick, Dick$>
A British lawyer is emerging as a key witness in a $180 million bribery investigation that could lead to the indictment of US vice president Dick Cheney.
Hmm... Dick, Dick, Dick, what in the hell are you thinking?
Last week, US oil corporation Halliburton cut all ties with a former senior executive, Albert Stanley, after it emerged he had received as much as $5m in 'improper personal benefits' as part of a $4bn gas project in Nigeria. Halliburton also sacked a second 'consultant', William Chaudan in connection with the bribery allegations. At the time of these alleged payments, Cheney was chief executive of the corporation.
French investigating magistrate Renaud van Ruymbeke is examining a stream of payments surrounding the controversial project which was built during the regime of the late dictator Sani Abacha. The judge has uncovered a $180m web of payments channelled through offshore companies and bank accounts.
Dick, You might better change your opinion of France. You could be spending many years in one of their correctional facilities.
The Nigerian project to build a huge gas plant was signed with an international consortium that included Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root. Cheney retired from the chief executive post in 2000.
The French judge is considering summoning Cheney to give evidence in his probe to ascertain whether the US vice president knew about the alleged commission payments.
Van Ruymbeke has been investigating why the consortium, which built the gas plant, paid up to $180m to a Gibraltan company set up by British solicitor Jeffrey Tesler, a partner in law firm Kaye Tesler & Co, based in Tottenham, north London. Van Ruymbeke wants to know whether the Gibraltar firm, TriStar Investments, was used to distribute bribes to win the contracts. Tesler has declined to answer media questions about his role in the project.
The Nigerian deal to build a $4bn liquefied natural gas plant is already subject to a formal investigation by both the US department of justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Halliburton's decision to sever ties with Stanley and Chaudan recognises the firm's difficulty with the corruption allegations. When the claims initially arose in France the firm denied any improper activities. A spokesman for Halliburton said the two executives were dismissed because they had broken the firm's 'code of business conduct'.
Now I have worked in the oil and gas industry for several years. The first lesson that you learn is, that you are only as good as the people that you surround yourself with. Mr. Cheney obviously forgot that lesson, for even if he did not know about it he should have had trustworthy executives. To me this story really shows what was wrong with Mr. Cheney's administration at Halliburton as well as the current administration on Pensylvania Ave. They are one and the same. Corrupt.