Sun, Jun 20, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Halliburton sacks KBR chairman as probe continues

AFP , WASHINGTON

Oil services giant Halliburton said Friday it sacked a consultant and former chairman of one of its subsidiaries after a probe into a Nigeria project revealed he got "improper personal benefits."

The company, once headed by US Vice President Dick Cheney and facing criticism for its contracts in Iraq, said it was "terminating all of its relationships with Mr. A. Jack Stanley."

Stanley had been a consultant and previously had served as chairman of Halliburton's Kellogg Brown and Root engineering subsidiary.

Stanley had served in several management capacities since joining M.W. Kellogg, which was acquired by Dresser Industries Inc, a firm that became part of Halliburton in 1988.

Halliburton said one additional consultant and former employee, whose name was not disclosed, was terminated due to "violations of ... codes of business conduct that, to Halliburton's knowledge, involve the receipt by these persons of improper personal benefits."

Halliburton had previously acknowledged a probe by US and French authorities into possible bribes of as much as US$180 million paid in connection with a multibillion dollar Nigeria natural gas project.

"Halliburton continues to cooperate with the United States Department of Justice and the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] in connection with these matters, and its own internal investigation is continuing," the statement said.

The statement added that Halliburton "does not believe it has violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act" -- which bans bribes to foreign officials -- but could not guarantee that the probe would show otherwise.

The investigation is believed to be focused on whether a Halliburton joint venture broke US anti-bribery laws in order to win construction contracts for the gas plant.

A French investigating magistrate has uncovered evidence of payments to KBR executives.

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