Barclays board approved 'sham' Qatar deal
SEE ALSO :Police foil ATM robbery, four arrestedWilliam Boyce QC, representing Mr Boath, said the approval of the board and involvement of top lawyers raised questions as to why Mr Boath was being prosecuted. “The in-house lawyers, Clifford Chance, the Board, the Chairman and the CEO, were each aware of, and sanctioned, the use of the ASA,” Mr Boyce said. “Every single factor relied on by the (Serious Fraud Office) as supposedly showing that [the agreement] was a sham was revealed by Mr Boath to the lawyers. Far from stopping ASA in its tracks, they actually ended up drafting it. “They, the Barclays lawyers, negotiated its terms with the lawyers for the Qataris. Yet it is Mr Boath who is in the dock. You may find yourselves wondering just why that is.” In his opening speech in Mr Boath’s defence, Boyce said Boath was a number of levels down the bank’s hierarchy and was taking instructions rather than making decisions. “The seniors (and ultimately the board) were there to make decisions, the lawyers were there to make sure those decisions were legal, and Mr Boath was there to get those decisions over the line.” Boyce said Boath disliked the Advisory Services Agreement and raised concerns. “Even if he didn’t like what was happening, and there are many instances when he indicates his dislike for some of what was happening, it simply wasn’t his call.” He added: “He raised his concerns; he did not hide or bury things… he insisted that the lawyers had total oversight of all the moving parts; and not just any lawyer, but Mr Harding, the top lawyer in the bank.” Much of the evidence in the trial consists of audio recordings of phone calls from Boath’s line, which was recorded because he sat at a trading desk.
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