DEFENCE ATTACKS ONE-SIDED PROBE IN F1 BRIBERY TRIAL
The trial of a German banker alleged to have accepted $44m in bribes from Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One chief, and a trust linked to his former wife began in Munich yesterday with the defendant’s lawyer accusing media and prosecutors of “hounding” his client. Gerhard Gribkowsky, the former chief risk officer of BayernLB is charged with accepting corrupt payments, breach of trust, and tax evasion over his role in the sale in 2005 of the bank’s stake in the Formula One racing series.
GROUPS FACE BEING FORCED TO SHOW PROJECT PAYMENTS TO GOVERNMENTS
European countries will have to reveal how much they pay governments in individual oil, gas, mining and logging projects under Brussels proposals that go further than expected in strengthening transparency rules.
FATAL FLAWS IN UK-SWISS TAX DEAL ATTACKED
Campaigners are stepping up their attack on a newly signed tax deal struck with Switzerland, which they say is subject to a series of “fatal flaws” that will give evaders a cost-free means of maintaining their anonymity. The Tax Justice Network, said it had identified 10 loopholes that undermined any prospect that the deal legitimising undeclared accounts would raise the £4bn to £7bn suggested by Revenue & Customs.
EMPLOYERS ARE EXPLOITING TEMPS, CLAIM UNIONS
Unions claim some agency workers may end up worse off under new European regulations designed to improve their rights because big employers, including Tesco and Carlsberg, are exploiting loopholes in the legislation. The rules came into effect at the beginning of this month.
BEREZOVSKY WITNESS REFUSES TO TESTIFY
A billionare who had been due to give evidence for Boris Berezovsky in his $6bn (£3.75bn) claim against Roman Abramovich this week has unexpectedly refused to testify. Michael Chernoy, an Uzbek-born businessman was due to appear as a witness in support of Berezovsky’s case against the Abramovich which arose from a dispute over oil shares.
CLEARING HOUSE COLLAPSE WOULD CREATE MAYHEM
The failure of a clearing house could trigger mayhem in the financial markets, a leading Bank of England policymaker warned yesterday. Paul Tucker, a deputy governor of the Bank, said that the institutions needed to be governed by a regime that ensured that taxpayers would not not be lumbered with losses if one went bust.
The Daily Telegraph
WILLIAM HILL SACKS SEVEN OF ITS MANAGERS AFTER TEL AVIV PLOT
William Hill has sacked seven senior managers and several junior staff at its online betting joint-venture after discovering an alleged plan to set up a rival business. Ralph Topping, chief executive, has spent the past four days restoring order at the Tel Aviv office of William Hill Online, the venture 79 per cent-owned by the UK bookmaker and 21per cent by Playtech.
AMEC READY TO MOVE BACK INTO LIBYA, SAYS CHIEF SAMIR BRIKHO
Amec, the British engineering company, has declared that it intends to start work again in Libya as soon as possible. Samir Brikho, the chief executive, said: “We are very involved now in discussions with the Libyan government. We evacuated 50 ex-pats in the first weeks ... and we are now ready to move them back.”
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
KICKBACK PROBE AT ALCOA HEATS UP
Two key figures in a bribery investigation of aluminum maker Alcoa’s activities in Bahrain have been arrested abroad, three years after law-enforcement officials began looking at millions of dollars allegedly paid to gain aluminum contracts. The arrests, one in the UK and one in Australia, suggest that an international investigation tied to the company is picking up steam.
TURKEY'S QUAKE VICTIMS STRUGGLE IN AFTERMATH
The death toll from a powerful earthquake in eastern Turkey rose into the hundreds yesterday, as rescue teams worked a second night to extract survivors, and residents fearful of aftershocks fought for tents to shelter their families. As of late Monday, 279 people had been confirmed dead and 1,300 injured.