Required to discharge jury in Barclay CEO fraud trial ‘I cannot underestimate the effort…’

8 April, 2019

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Robert Jay

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) – A London jury has been dismissed in a landmark fraud trial of four former Barclays executives, including the former chief executive, John Varley, accused of paying Qatar undisclosed fees to help rescue the bank at the height of the credit crisis in 2008.  They secretly paid £322m to Qatar in return for funding of billions in two emergency capital calls.

The deal was the subject of a five-year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, but April 8, after a month-long break in the court case, Mr Justice Jay brought the jury back to formally discharge them.

At Southwark Crown Court, he said: ‘I cannot underestimate the effort everyone has put on.’

The bankers raised £11bn in emergency fundraising in 2008, but that £4bn-worth of the investment which came from Qatar was secured by making secret payments to the Gulf state. The money was paid in fees after ‘essential’ investments of approximately £1.9 billion and £2.05 billion were made by the Qataris to Barclays ‘to shore up their capital base’ and to avoid a Government bailout.

Judge Robert Jay told the jury at Southwark Crown Court on April 8 he was required to discharge them.
The others charged were investment banker Roger Jenkins, head of wealth management Thomas Kalaris and Richard Boath, former head of Barclays’ European Financial Institutions Group.

The four denied the charges.

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