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Will the French Indict Cheney?

Yet another sordid chapter in the murky annals of Halliburton might well lead to the indictment of Dick Cheney by a French court on charges of bribery, money-laundering and misuse of corporate assets.
The Nation
Posted December 29, 2003

Will the French Indict Cheney?
by Doug Ireland

Yet another sordid chapter in the murky annals of Halliburton might well lead to the indictment of Dick Cheney by a French court on charges of bribery, money-laundering and misuse of corporate assets.

At the heart of the matter is a $6 billion gas liquification factory built in Nigeria on behalf of oil mammoth Shell by Halliburton--the company Cheney headed before becoming Vice President--in partnership with a large French petroengineering company, Technip. Nigeria has been rated by the anticorruption watchdog Transparency International as the second-most corrupt country in the world, surpassed only by Bangladesh.

One of France's best-known investigating magistrates, Judge Renaud van Ruymbeke--who came to fame by unearthing major French campaign finance scandals in the 1990s that led to a raft of indictments--has been conducting a probe of the Nigeria deal since October. And, three days before Christmas, the Paris daily Le Figaro front-paged the news that Judge van Ruymbeke had notified the Justice Ministry that Cheney might be among those eventually indicted as a result of his investigation.

According to accounts in the French press, Judge van Ruymbeke believes that some or all of $180 million in so-called secret "retrocommissions" paid by Halliburton and Technip were, in fact, bribes given to Nigerian officials and others to grease the wheels for the refinery's construction. These reports say van Ruymbeke has fingered as the bagman in the operation a 55-year-old London lawyer, Jeffrey Tesler, who has worked for Halliburton for some thirty years. It was Tesler who was paid the $180 million as a "commercial consultant" through a Gibraltar-based front company he set up called TriStar. TriStar, in turn, got the money from a consortium set up for the Nigeria deal by Halliburton and Technip and registered in Madeira, the Portuguese offshore island where taxes don't apply. According to Agence France-Presse, a former top Technip official, Georges Krammer, has testified that the Madeira-based consortium was a "slush fund" controlled by Halliburton--through its subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root--and Technip. Krammer, who is cooperating with the investigation, also swore that Tesler was imposed as the intermediary by Halliburton over the objections of Technip.

Tesler is a curious fellow: A veteran operator in Nigeria, he was the financial adviser to the late dictator Gen. Sani Abacha and controlled his personal fortune, while at the same time working for Halliburton. Abacha's former Oil Minister, Dan Etete--who is suspected of having used some of the alleged bribe money to buy himself fancy apartments in Paris and a chateau in Normandy--was deposed by Judge van Ruymbeke in December. According to the Journal du Dimanche (a large Sunday paper), Etete's testimony seemed to confirm the judge's suspicions that Tesler laundered the $180 million through offshore and other accounts, and that part of the money wound up in dictator Abacha's coffers. Tesler's bank accounts in Monaco, Switzerland and elsewhere have been subpoenaed in an effort to find out where the money went.

Judge van Ruymbeke's authority for his transnational investigation comes from a law France passed in 2000 against "bribing foreign officials," following its ratification of a convention adopted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development prohibiting bribe-giving in the course of commercial transactions. The notion that the judge's targeting of Cheney might be in part retaliatory for the Bush Administration's exclusion of France from Iraq reconstruction contracts is unlikely: Van Ruymbeke is notoriously independent, and his previous investigations have been aimed at politicians and parties of both right and left. He's also no stranger to the unsavory world of oil-and-gas politics, having previously investigated bribe-giving by the French petrogiant Elf--indeed, it was in the course of his Elf investigation that van Ruymbeke stumbled upon the Nigerian deal.

The suspected bribe money was mostly ladled out between 1995 and 2000, when Cheney was Halliburton's CEO. The Journal du Dimanche reported on December 21 that "it is probable that some of the
'retrocommissions' found their way back to the United States" and asked, did this money go "to Halliburton's officials? To officials of the Republican Party?" These questions have so far gone unasked by America's media, which have completely ignored the explosive Le Figaro headline revealing the targeting of Cheney. It will be interesting to see if the US press looks seriously into this ticking time-bomb of a scandal before the November elections.


want more dirt on Cheney? 05.Jan.2004 22:25

LaRouche really slings it...read this>>>>

repostings 4 u

LaRouche in 2004
P.O. BOX 730


Jan. 3 -- Democrat Lyndon LaRouche's campaign for the 2004 Democratic nomination will launch a new salvo against Vice-President Dick Cheney this week. "Children of Satan II: The Beast-Men," will pick up where the candidate's "Children of Satan, The Ignoble Liars behind Bush's No-Exit War," left off, in targetting the Satanic evil which lies behind the Vice-President's dominating role, in directing the Bush Administration into war, and financial ruin.

LaRouche first identified Cheney as the key mover behind the Administration's war policy back in September 2002, when he called for his resignation. The campaign further developed its offensive against the "war party" in the Administration, with the April 2003 release of the "Children of Satan" pamphlet, which was the first publication to identify the role of the Straussians in the evil Administration policy.

Now, with this new release, the LaRouche campaign deepens its assault on the Cheney grouping, by establishing its philosophical roots in the history of Synarchism, the reactionary current which created a series of fascist "Beast-men," beginning with Napoleon Bonaparte, and going through Hitler, Mussolini, and up to the present day.

While the 48-page pamphlet will be released on January 6, the campaign has rushed the text onto its website, www.larouchein2004.com, so that it will immediately get into circulation.

Immediately following the release of the pamphlet, which will be extensively circulated in Washington, D.C., the LaRouche campaign will air two half-hour TV shows in the nation's capital, followed by shows in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Boston, Massachusetts.

LaRouche's show, entitled "The Next President of the U.S.A.," will air in Washington, D.C. on WTTG Fox-TV, Channel 5 at 6 pm on Wednesday, January 7, and on WRC NBC-TV, Channel 4, at 12:30 pm on Sunday, January 11.

Followup broadcasts will be aired on WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Saturday January 10 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, January 11, at 2:30 pm. On Tuesday, January 20, at 7:30 pm, the LaRouche half-hour will air on WBZ in Boston, Massachusetts.

LaRouche is currently on the primary ballot in 16 states, plus the District of Columbia.

New Day and Time for Washington, DC Half-Hour TV Spot
Please note that the day and time for the second half-hour TV spot in Washington, DC has been changed to 12:30 pm on Sunday, January 11 on Channel 4, WRC, NBC-TV. The days and times for the first Washington, DC spot and the three Boston/New Hampshire TV spots remain the same. Use the above link to print out a leaflet (with the corrected day and time) announcing the two Washington TV spots.

The 'Maritornes': A Tavern of Fascist Prostitutes
Ibero-America and Italy: What the Dickens is a Church of Two Tails?
A Christmas Gift for Victor Eduardo Ordonez
New WTOP Ads: LaRouche is the Franklin Roosevelt for today
Paid for by LaRouche in 2004