Statoil and top executive fined in corruption case

The National Authority for Investigation of Economic Crime has fined Statoil NOK 20 million and former top executive Richard Hubbard NOK 200,000 in connection with the company's operations in Iran. No one will be charged in connection with the so-called Horton agreement. The National Authority for Investigation of Economic Crime (OKOKRIM) has fined Statoil NOK 20 million and former top executive Richard Hubbard NOK 200,000 in connection with the company's operations in Iran. No one will be charged in connection with the so-called Horton agreement.Statoil chief executive Olav Fjell had to leave the company last fall, but neither he nor Hubbard were indicted. Both of them had to resign after it became known that they had agreed to pay NOK 100,000 to the Iranian consulting company Horton Investments Ltd, for services rendered in connection with Statoil's interests in new operations in Iran. According to OKOKRIM, the fee was in reality, 'an offer of excessive incentives' for the ex-president's son, Mehdi Hashemi, and/or others who would exert their influence on contracts in the Iranian oil and gas sector in Statoil's favour. Statoil and Hubbard both now have 30 days in which to decide whether or not they will appeal the fines. Statoil board chairman Jannik Lindbaek does not exclude the possibility that the case may go to court. He says that the company will not accept the writ from OKOKRIM without reservations. (NRK) Rolleiv Solholm

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