When I first heard the news about Nigeria issuing an arrest warrant for Dick Cheney, I had a moment of hope, but then I thought about one second later, eh, just an Internets rumor. I mean, c'mon. Nigeria? That place that keeps sending us emails and so forth?
But I keep seeing mentions of this story, which makes me think … It Would Be Irresponsible NOT To Speculate, as they (used to!) like to say.
(note shadowy figure off to the left)
Halliburton reportedly agrees to pay Nigeria $250 million to drop bribery charges against Cheney, firm
The massive industrial conglomerate Halliburton has reportedly offered to pay $250 million to settle charges against its former chief executive, ex-Vice President Dick Cheney, in a multi-million dollar bribery case.
Nigeria filed charges against Cheney last week in an investigation of alleged bribery estimated at $180 million. Prosecutors named both Halliburton and KBR in the charges, as well as three European oil and engineering companies -- Technip SA, EniSpa, and Saipem Construction. Eleven Halliburton officials were arrested last month and freed on bail Nov. 29.
The charges allege that engineering contractor KBR, until 2007 a subsidiary of Halliburton, was among companies that paid bribes to secure a $6 billion contract for a natural gas plant. KBR pleaded guilty to the same bribes in a US court in 2009, and agreed to pay a $382 million fine. The Nigerian charges appear to stem from the US case -- though, in that trial, Cheney was never directly charged.
The $250 million figure would include a direct $130 million fine by the company and an agreement to repatriate another $120 million from Switzerland.
Representatives for Cheney and Halliburton met with Nigerian officials in London over the weekend.
I'm guessing Bigus Dickus approved of this and growled, "Just a cost of doing business."
And then shot a friend in the face, just to hear him apologize.
[Added] The Wall Street Journal of all places is reporting the same story.