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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Charges Dropped Against 12 in Gabon Bribery Case

WASHINGTON (CN) - Federal prosecutors moved to dismiss charges against more than a dozen people accused of paying a $1.5 million bribe to the defense minister of Gabon to win a $12 million private security contract.

"The government has carefully considered the outcomes of the first two trials in which, after extensive deliberations, the juries remained hung as to seven defendants and acquitted two defendants, and one defendant was acquitted on the sole charge against him," stated prosecutors in their motion to dismiss.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon dismissed the charges, ending the saga that began over two years ago when the Justice Department announced it had arrested 22 people for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The FCPA bans paying foreign officials in exchange for business, but the FBI informant who accepted the cash from the defendants never used the word "bribe" on tape, resulting in the two unsuccessful and lengthy trials that chewed up government resources for naught.

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