June 22 2004
. . . Everyone in Africa, knew that US authorities would never seriously investigate allegations that Halliburton had been involved in a MASSIVE BRIBERY SCHEME in Nigeria. After all, the company was headed from 1995 to 2000 by Dick Cheney, US vice-president.
According to people present, Peter Clark, the US Department of Justice official who handles such cases, boomed in reply: "If you think for a moment that we would shy away from a case for political reasons, you would be sorely mistaken." . . .
. . . Halliburton is facing HALF A DOZEN official investigations into its conduct around the world, including allegations that it routinely overcharged the US government for services in Iraq. However, the Nigerian bribery case is the only one that includes a period when Mr Cheney was at the helm of the company. . .
. . . Furthermore, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) penalises any company officers who "KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN" that bribes were paid. Mr Cheney was personally involved in the acquisition of Dresser, raising the question whether the due diligence conducted during the acquisition should have brought any impropriety to light, lawyers say. . .
. . . The penalties for violating the FCPA are severe. Lockheed was fined a total of m in 1995 for paying m to an Egyptian politician. The alleged payments in TSKJ's case could reach 0m.
Furthermore, COMPANY EXECUTIVES can face five years' jail for each instance of bribery, even if they DID NOT KNOW it was occurring. Companies can be also barred from bidding for government contracts - an important component of Halliburton's business around the world.