Despite efforts by Doha to deny any connection to the UK Barclays scandal, the highly publicized trial continues as three bank executives will appear before a jury in London on Monday.
Officials face charges of circumvention in the so-called Qatari money issue, about how the bank obtained billions of pounds from Qatari investors during the 2008 financial crisis.
The accusations against three of the bank’s leaders, including the former head of corporate finance Richard Booth, are all about fraud and arranging illicit deals financed by bribes paid by Doha.
The amounts in the case are fictitious, exceeding £ 11bn. The bank managers received the amounts secretly from Qatar, enabling Barclays to avoid direct government assistance during the global credit crisis.
The price of massive bribes has been phased in by Doha through contracts and deals with Qatar Holding as the primary beneficiary.
The details of the case also mention additional millions over £ 320 million. The Fraud Office said that Qatari investors, led by then Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim, had obtained them in side deals, paid through secret channels in return for ensuring Qatar’s investment in two requests for payment of capital.
Sources in the British Fraud Office in the Barclays trial revealed in February evidence that Qatar and its former prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim, were involved in the Barclays scandal and attempted to conceal this role, the Guardian reported.
Numerous e-mails were read to the jury of the South Ark Court, and various recordings of telephone calls revealing “Qatari involvement” were heard.
These letters and phone calls, which were presented by prosecutors, showed the extent to which Qatari officials put pressure on senior bank officials to conceal Hamad bin Jassim stake in Barclays, as Qatar was on the verge of introducing a bailout package that helped the bank avoid a government bailout package.
These messages and contacts reveal conversations and discussions on how the bank disclosed the “planned” stake in the bank through the Qatari investment vehicle “Challenger”.
The court heard that Hamad bin Jassim was first involved in financing talks with Barclays through his role as president of Qatar Holding in 2008, but in a recording of a phone call played in front of the jury, Richard Booth told the bank’s chief executives: Bin Jassim would prefer his family to have some stakes in Barclays’ too.
In one of the e-mails read in court, Booth wrote to colleagues, including attorney Judith Shepherd, detailing a meeting with Qatari Chief Legal Officer Ahmed al-Sayyed that he had been told that “his excellency does not want to be prominent” and that he prefers to remain disguised. “His investment instrument should be the fifth investor and sign its IPO.”
Booth told him that the identity of the investment vehicle must be revealed. Ahmed El Sayed said Barclays must “find a creative way to do this in order to keep Hamad bin Jassim out of sight.”
In another e-mail read to the court, Booth said Ahmed al-Sayyed was pleased with how the investment was disclosed, as long as there was no evidence of who owned the investment vehicle.