Doolhof Wine Estate owner, Dennis Kerrison, convicted of conspiracy to commit corruption

A jury at Southwark Crown Court today convicted Dennis Kerrison and Miltiades Papachristos of conspiracy to commit corruption, following an investigation conducted by the Serious Fraud Office.

The convictions of Mr Kerrison, a former CEO of Associated Octel Corporation (subsequently renamed Innospec Limited) and Dr Papachristos, former Regional Sales Director for the Asia Pacific region, complete the SFO’s six year investigation into Innospec, which led to two other individuals and Innospec entering guilty pleas.

Innospec itself pleaded guilty in March 2010 to bribing state officials in Indonesia and was fined $12.7 million. The bribes were intended to secure, or serve as rewards for having secured, contracts from the Government of Indonesia for the supply of Innospec products including Tetraethyl Lead, also known as TEL, a highly dangerous organo-lead compound that was created as an octane booster to be added to engine fuel. Leaded fuel, i.e. fuel that contains TEL, was banned in the UK in 2000 due to links between the compound and severe neurological damage.

David Green CB QC, Director of the SFO said:

“Today’s convictions finally bring to an end a long-running investigation into corruption at Innospec.

“As former Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan said, ‘corruption leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets and erodes the quality of life.’ By investigating and prosecuting this case, the SFO has helped curb those damaging consequences of bribery.

“The SFO case team has had to resist sustained and extensive legal arguments designed to prevent a trial taking place. That it has now taken place is testament to the skills, professionalism and tenacity of those involved.

“I am very pleased that a jury has had the opportunity to deliver its verdict on the defendants’ conduct.”

Another former Innospec CEO, Paul Jennings, pleaded guilty in June 2012 to two charges of conspiracy to commit corruption and a further charge of conspiracy to commit corruption in July 2012. David Turner, former Innospec Sales and Marketing Director pleaded guilty to three charges of conspiracy to commit corruption in January 2012.

The sentencing of Dr Turner, Mr Jennings, Mr Kerrison and Dr Papachristos is expected to take place on 1 August 2014.

*Photo credit: John Ford

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