Australian building giant Leighton in graft scandal
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian construction giant Leighton Holdings, which operates in more than 20 countries, was on Thursday at the centre of a corruption scandal with allegations of bribery among senior executives.
A six-month investigation by Fairfax Media, which obtained hundreds of confidential company documents, exposed what it said were "plans to pay alleged multi-million dollar kickbacks in Iraq, Indonesia, Malaysia and elsewhere, along with other serious corporate misconduct".
In one case, it alleged former chief executive Wal King approved a A$42 million (S$49 million) bribe to a firm in Monaco nominated by Iraqi officials who gave Leighton an A$750 million oil pipeline contract.
Fairfax cited a memo written on Nov 23, 2010 by then acting chief executive David Stewart in which Leighton International managing director David Savage had revealed he and King knew of the massive kickback "I asked did Wal K approve this? And he said 'yes'," the memo reportedly said.