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Pin to quick picksGlaxosmithkline Share News (GSK)

Share Price Information for Glaxosmithkline (GSK)

London Stock Exchange
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Share Price: 1,411.80
Bid: 1,411.80
Ask: 1,412.00
Change: 0.80 (0.06%)
Spread: 0.20 (0.01%)
Open: 1,414.20
High: 1,417.40
Low: 1,403.40
Yest. Close: 1,411.00
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UK prosecutor ends investigation into Airbus individuals - sources

Tue, 4th May 2021 16:34

By Kirstin Ridley

LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - Britain's Serious Fraud Office
(SFO) has ended a criminal investigation into individuals
associated with Airbus, the European planemaker that
agreed to a record $4.0 billion global settlement 16 months ago,
sources said on Tuesday.

Three sources familiar with the investigation said the SFO
had written to former suspects to say it would take no further
action. Overseas prosecutors could, however, take a different
view in cases where suspects face more than one inquiry.

Airbus and the SFO, which along with French and U.S.
prosecutors agreed to a ground-breaking deferred prosecution
agreement (DPA) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-airbus-probe-france-idUSKBN1ZU1X4
with the company in January 2020, declined to comment.

But the SFO updated its website on April 22 to state that
its case would remain open until the end of the DPA - a
settlement that allows companies to avoid criminal prosecution
in a court-approved deal that often includes a fine and
compliance monitoring - in January 2023.

It previously stated that the inquiry remained active and
the position in relation to individuals was being considered.

Airbus was accused of a "pervasive and pernicious" bribery
scheme by a U.S. district judge last year after a four-year
inquiry into sales across more than a dozen overseas markets
culminated a corporate settlement.

Last week, the company drew a final line under British
criminal investigations when former subsidiary GPT Special
Project Management pleaded guilty to corruption over military
contracts for Saudi Arabia.

Successfully prosecuting white collar crime is notoriously
tricky, time-consuming and costly, especially if prosecutors
rely on overseas authorities to share documentary evidence.

But the SFO, which has yet to successfully prosecute
individuals following a DPA, has faced criticisms of serious
failings after the collapse of high-profile trials against
former executives at Serco, over prisoner-tagging, and at
retailer Tesco after corporate settlements.

It also abandoned investigations into suspects associated
with aero engine maker Rolls-Royce and drugs company
GlaxoSmithKline in 2019, raising the ire of anti
corruption groups that say it is absurd for companies to settle
allegations of wrongdoing when individuals cannot be held to
account.

But Sarah Wallace, a lawyer at Constantine Law, noted it was
inherently more difficult to prosecute and secure convictions
against individuals than agreeing a DPA with a company.
(Additional reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris. Editing by Mark
Potter)

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