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Jury discharged by judge in historic Barclays fraud trial

Former Barclays CEO John Varley.
Former Barclays CEO John Varley. Reuters

  • A judge discharged the jury part-way through the historic Barclays fraud trial in London on Monday.
  • The judge ordered the media not to report why the discharge occurred.
  • In the trial, the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had claimed former CEO John Varley and other executives - Richard Boath, Thomas Kalaris, and Roger Jenkins - misled investors during capital raisings at the height of the financial crisis.
  • The defendants pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Justice Robert Jay discharged the jury at Southwark Crown Court Monday, in an historic case against four former Barclays executives. The trial had been ongoing since January. The judge ordered that the media not report the reason for the halt in the trial.

The case centred on alleged fraud during capital raisings undertaken at the height of the global financial crisis by the British lender in 2008.

Defendants in the trial are John Varley, the CEO of Barclays between 2004 and 2011, who faces two charges of conspiracy to commit fraud; Roger Jenkins, the former executive chairman of investment management in the Middle East and North Africa at Barclays Capital, who also faces two counts; Thomas Kalaris, who headed the bank's wealth division at the time of the fundraising; and Richard Boath, former head of Barclays' European financial institutions group. Each faced one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

The Qatari companies, Qatar Investment Authority and Qatar Holdings, invested £6 billion ($7.8 billion) in Barclays during capital-raising activities in 2008. Qatar is not accused of any wrongdoing.

The SFO alleged that Varley and other executives - Boath, Kalaris, and Jenkins - misled investors in the deal by using "advisory services agreements" (ASAs). The SFO claimed that the side-deals paid Qatari companies £322 million ($423 million) - a 3.25% commission - in fees during the capital raisings, which were fraudulently not disclosed to other investors.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The judge ordered the media not to report why the discharge occurred as reporting restrictions apply in UK courts over certain matters.

Read more: See all our coverage of the Barclays Qatar trial here.

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