Statement: 10 December 2013
The SFO has today offered no evidence against Victor Dahdaleh, having concluded that there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction in this case.
The SFO had previously obtained the conviction of a conspirator, Bruce Hall, who pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to corrupt. Mr Dahdaleh was the only remaining defendant in the case.
The two principal issues leading to the SFO's decision are:
- Bruce Hall pleaded guilty and gave evidence for the prosecution. The account he gave in court differed markedly from the witness statement he had provided to the SFO.
- Two key witnesses from the USA were unwilling to attend trial in the UK and face cross-examination. That impacts on the fairness of the trial as well as the prospects of conviction.
The statement made to the court contains more information.
An SFO spokesperson said:
"Alba in Bahrain gave its documents to Akin Gump, the company's lawyers.
"The SFO framed specific requests to Akin Gump for that documentation and obtained what was requested.
"The SFO also obtained evidence from other sources including banks and individuals. Thereafter the SFO made its own evaluation and assessment of that evidence. Faced with that evidence Bruce Hall was extradited from Australia and pleaded guilty to a conspiracy with Victor Dahdaleh, Sheikh Isa bin Ali al-Khalifa and others to corrupt. No aspect of this investigation was outsourced."