Two in UK court over Bahrain fraud charges

Metals magnate Victor Dahdaleh, former Alba chief exec Bruce Hall appear in London court
Two in UK court over Bahrain fraud charges
The UKs Serious Fraud Office
By Reuters
Sat 03 Mar 2012 10:01 AM

Metals magnate Victor Dahdaleh and former Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) chief executive Bruce Hall appeared in a London court on Friday facing corruption charges relating to the supply of alumina to Bahrain.

Jordan-born Dahdaleh, a former donor to Britain's Labour party and to former US President Bill Clinton's charitable activities, is alleged to have paid bribes to officials of Alba in connection with contracts with US aluminium giant Alcoa, according to Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Hall, who has been extradited from Australia, is alleged to have received the bribes during his tenure as head of Alba, according to the SFO, which is investigating.

The two men spoke only to confirm their names and addresses and the case was adjourned.

The two will appear in Southwark Crown Court again on April 16 for a plea and directions hearing. They were granted bail on condition that they do not contact each other or witnesses for the prosecution.

Dahdaleh's website, quoting a spokesman for legal firm Allen & Overy, said he believes the investigation into his affairs was flawed and he would contest the charges vigorously.

Alcoa last year filed a request with the US District Court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, seeking to dismiss a civil suit filed against it by Alba, and involving Dahdaleh and others.

The US Court had previously halted the civil proceedings to await the outcome of investigations into the case by the US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The contracts in question were for the supply of alumina, an intermediate material in aluminium production, shipped from Australia to Bahrain, and for the supply of further goods and services to Alba.

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