Dick Cheney- Corporate Criminal
Details the myriad illegal, immoral, and unethical activities of Dick Cheney when CEO of Halliburton, his obstruction of justice, and lies to the American public since his appointment as Vice President. For information on an equally corrupt politician, see link to Tom DeLay-Corporate Whore. Be sure to visit our cavernous vault of archives.
Cheney in Firing Line over Nigerian Bribery Claims
by Antony Barnett and Martin Bright
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.
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 channeled through offshore companies and bank accounts.
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 recognizes 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'.
A statement added: 'While we do not know all of the facts related to the issue we are taking these actions in response to the facts that we do have and to protect our investors, employees, customers and vendors as several investigations proceed.'
The acknowledgement that Stanley was receiving payments as part of the Nigeria deal brings the allegations uncomfortably close to Cheney. Stanley was chairman of Kellogg Brown & Root - one of Halliburton's most important subsidiaries. The company denied that Stanley - who retired as chairman in December but remained a consultant - would have reported directly to Cheney.
Neither Stanley, Chaudan or their lawyers have made any comments on the allegations and the two US directors do not currently face any legal action.