The High Court of London concluded that the opening of a criminal case against the Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) corporation was carried out in violation of the law. It was the result of unauthorized actions by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the law firm Dechert. The agency’s correspondent reported this decision Kazinform, which links to ERG.
In August this year, the SFO announced its intention to end the multi-year investigation into ERG without bringing any charges. A London court concluded that the investigation would not have been launched at all if not for serious misconduct by senior SFO officials and Neil Gerrard, a partner at law firm Dechert.
According to the Financial Times, potential compensation payments from the SFO ERG could amount to multimillion-dollar sums. This means the SFO may be forced to pay costs incurred by ERG as a result of the lengthy and apparently unfounded investigation.
According to the decision. The High Court concluded that there was a “continuing nature” of the offenses committed by SFO staff, including “Mr Alderman, the Director of the SFO”. And also about false evidence provided by two “high-ranking officials”, one of whom was former acting director of the SFO Mark Thompson.
Аs the novinite writes, the SFO’s investigation into ERG began in 2013 but was concluded ten years later in August. The reason for this decision was “the lack of sufficient admissible evidence to open a criminal case,” as announced by the SFO.
The proceedings have also raised questions about the conduct of Neil Gerrard, a former partner at law firm Dechert who was tasked with providing advisory support to ERG. Judge Waxman said the SFO breached its duties by obtaining information from Gerrard that was “manifestly unauthorized” and “contrary to the interests of his client.” As stated in the previous High Court judgment, revised in May 2022, Neil Gerrard himself admitted that he was prone to exaggeration, and this admission was assessed by the judge as “a clear understatement of the facts, to put it mildly.” Based on the patently incorrect information provided by Mr. Gerrard, SFO employees pursued their interests in protecting their own interests. In April 2013, the law firm Dechert apparently found something.
ERG also brought legal action against the SFO in 2021. At the same time, she claimed that employees of the British organization regularly leaked information to journalists during the criminal investigation.
ERG has already received compensation of more than £43 million in costs and damages. The exact financial losses will be determined at the next trial. The years-long litigation resulted in serious damage to both ERG’s reputation and finances.