Published On: Sat, Aug 8th, 2020

Lawyer hits out at detention of SBM whistleblower in Croatia


Monaco has “cynically” bypassed British courts by orchestrating the arrest of a British whistleblower when he went on a family holiday to Croatia, says his lawyer.

Toby Cadman, an extradition specialist and former war crimes prosecution lawyer, has accused Monaco of “an abuse of process” in the way it has pursued Jonathan Taylor, who blew the whistle on a multimillion-pound bribery scandal at the Monaco-based SBM Offshore.

He said the case, first revealed by The Sunday Telegraph last weekend, had major implications for the ability of employees to lift the lid on corporate corruption and bring errant executives to justice.

Mr Taylor was arrested on the Interpol warrant when he landed in Dubrovnik with his wife Cindy, and three teenage children. He was searched, fingerprinted and brought before an extradition judge, and held in jail for five days where he shared a small cell with a drug smuggler and violent offenders.

Mr Cadman, co-founder and head of chambers at Guernica 37 international justice chambers, said Monaco had exploited the Interpol arrest warrant and the extradition process to target Mr Taylor when it knew that bringing such an action in a British court would fail. “No British court would give the go ahead for this sort of extradition if you look at the background to his case – the fact that he has provided information to the UK, US, Dutch and Brazilian authorities as a witness of high-level corruption. It is incredibly cynical.

“When he arrived in Dubrovnik, he sensed immediately something was amiss, which suggested the authorities had been alerted to it. Interpol has to be called to answer on this, issuing a notice for someone who is a whistleblower.”

Mr Taylor helped the FBI, Serious Fraud Office and investigating agencies in Holland and Brazil expose multimillion-pound bribes by senior staff at his former employer SBM to secure contracts for drilling platforms in the oil industry. His actions led to SBM paying out more than $500m (£383m) to settle court actions with investigating agencies, and the prosecution of senior former executives at his company.

Mr Taylor, now a freelance legal contractor based in Southampton, left SBM in 2012 but was then accused of extortion as he tried to negotiate a compensation settlement for his loss of earnings from blowing the whistle.

SBM, which did not admit guilt in the settlements, told The Telegraph it had dropped any legal action against Mr Taylor. The extortion claims were thrown out of court after the firm offered no evidence.

The Monaco prosecutor’s office is, however, pursuing him over the allegations, but they have not been spelled out to Mr Taylor apart from the warrant claiming “extortion and blackmail”. It has refused to answer questions from The Telegraph.



Source link

Comments are closed.