Bribery investigation could lead to indictment of Cheney
20 June 2004
LONDON, June 20 (Summary of Observer article) -- France may request that Vice President Dick Cheney provide testimony to determine whether he was involved in an alleged bribery scheme while he was CEO of Halliburton. French judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke has been investigating the bribery scandal involving Halliburton's KBR unit for over a year. The bribes, worth $180 million, were allegedly paid to officials of the government of Nigeria for the purpose of winning a $5 billion contract to build a natural gas plant on Nigeria's Bonny Island. In addition to KBR, three other companies are implicated in the bribery probe. France says the bribes were paid through a Gibraltan company set up by British lawyer Jeffrey Tesler, a partner in the law firm Kaye Tesler & Co, based in Tottenham, north of London. Van Ruymbeke wants to know whether the Gibraltar firm, TriStar Investments, was used to distribute bribes to win the contracts. Tesler has declined to answer media questions about his role in the project. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Justice Department and the British government are also investigating the alleged bribery scheme. Halliburton recently announced that it terminated its relationship with the former head of KBR because of the bribery investigation.