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Thursday, March 25, 2010

U.K. Court Allows Extradition of Lawyer in KBR Bribery Case

March 25, 2010, 11:26 AM EDT
By James Lumley and Lindsay Fortado
March 25 (Bloomberg) -- Jeffrey Tesler, a British lawyer wanted by Houston prosecutors over allegations he helped bribe Nigerian officials to win contracts in a $6 billion natural gas project, can be extradited to the U.S., a London judge ruled today.
District Judge Caroline Tubbs ruled that the case is appropriate for extradition. At a hearing in January, Tesler’s lawyers said he shouldn’t be extradited because the case has “strong links” to the U.K., and British prosecutors are carrying out their own investigation.
Tesler and another U.K. citizen were indicted on Feb. 17 last year by a federal grand jury in Houston, accused of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. If convicted of all charges, each faces a maximum prison sentence of 55 years.
The case is part of an investigation into Houston-based KBR Inc. over bribes to Nigerian officials to win contracts to build a liquefied-natural gas project. KBR in February 2009 agreed with former parent Halliburton Co. to pay $579 million to resolve U.S. criminal and regulatory charges related to the Nigeria project. LinkHere


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