From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Halliburton's [alleged] international bribery scheme

January 14, 2004 8:36 AM

Today's Progress Report explains the latest Halliburton corruption investigation -- this one involving bribing a foreign official:

The London Daily Express reports that French law enforcement officials confirm Vice President Dick Cheney "will now face a subpoena" for his alleged role in a massive international bribery scheme while he was CEO of Halliburton. "Cheney is wanted for questioning" in an investigation into a fund Halliburton and a French company "earmarked to bribe government officials in a number of countries." The story is the first to reveal that definitive plans to subpoena Cheney are imminent, and is consistent with earlier international reporting on the matter.

The London Daily Express isn't exactly the Washington Post, so take this with a grain of salt. It does make sense that Cheney would be subpoenaed. The Dallas Morning News goes into the background of the french probe:

A $180 MILLION 'SLUSH FUND': The Dallas Morning News reports the controversy centers around "$180 million in payments" made by Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root and its French partners that "may have been bribes to Nigerian officials or kickbacks to unknown people." A former official with the French company has testified that the money was a "slush fund" controlled by Halliburton, all while Cheney was CEO. The companies then "won a $3.8 billion construction contract" from the Nigerian dictator Gen. Sani Abacha.

THE SIGNIFICANCE: If formal charges are brought against Cheney, they could have serious consequences. The Dallas Morning News notes the case is being pursued under a treaty signed by France, the U.S. and more than 30 countries "outlawing bribery of foreign public officials. It makes the payment of such bribes a criminal offense." Additionally, such bribes "have been illegal in the United States since the mid-1970s under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act."

More from the archive in Business, Corruption.

Halliburton's [alleged] international bribery scheme (01.14.2004)

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