[size=36]Oil company admits bribes to obtain contracts in Iraq[/size]
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acknowledged a former partner in Iraq for Oil Ona, a consulting company for oil and gas based in Monaco, plead guilty to five charges of bribery in the first conviction in a criminal investigation has been going on three years conducted by the Serious Fraud Office in Britain.
Basal al-Jarrah, 70, pleaded guilty on July 15 to conspiring to bribe contracts for the supply and installation of single-floating platforms and oil pipelines in southern Iraq, the office said.
The Serious Fraud Office said the conviction of the surgeon, who comes six months before three other defendants faced a criminal trial in London, was announced after a ban on publishing was canceled in a pre-trial hearing on Friday.
Ziyad Aql, former regional director of Ona Oil in Iraq, Stephen Whitley and Paul Bond, who work for Netherlands-based oil services firm SPM (Offshore), did not plead guilty.
The 44-year-old was charged with three counts of conspiracy to bribe. The 67-year-old former sales manager at SPM (Offshore), Whiteley, 64, who was previously vice-president at SPM (Offshore) and the regional general manager for Iraq, Kazakhstan and Angola, Una Oil has two separate charges.
Sam Healy, a lawyer representing Whitley, said his client "consistently denied" all the alleged irregularities.
"Mr. Whitley fully cooperated with the Serious Fraud Office when they opened their investigations and vigorously defended himself against the charges."
Lawyers for the surgeon and Bond declined to comment. The lawyer representing Aqel has not yet been reached for comment.
A spokeswoman for Ona Oil refrained from commenting, while SPM Offshore said the company's policy was not to comment on former or current employees.