The Daily Telegraph
Cameron’s remarks ‘ruined my fraud trial’
A BUSINESSMAN has launched an appeal against a fraud conviction because David Cameron called Nigerian leaders “fantastically corrupt”.
Peter Chapman, a former director at a polymer banknote technology company, is attempting to appeal against his conviction after judges sentenced him to two and half years in prison, the website MLex has reported.
He was prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and found guilty of paying $250,000 (£200,000) in bribes to a Nigerian national mint official in exchange for business contracts worth around €30 million (£26 million).
However, while the jury was deliberating at Southwark Crown Court in May last year, Mr Cameron was caught on camera saying “we’ve got leaders of some fantastically corrupt coun- tries coming to Britain ... Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world”.
Chapman’s lawyers have argued that the former prime minister’s comments about Nigeria mean that Chapman did not get a fair trial.
Mr Cameron’s comments were raised in court. Judge Michael Grieve warned that the comments risked prejudicing the trial and asked the jury to disregard them.
Chapman, a former manager of polymer banknote manufacturer Innovia Securency PTY, has had an initial application to appeal refused. His legal team will attempt to seek permission to appeal again next week.
Chapman was arrested at Heathrow in April 2015 after being extradited from Brazil. He was charged with fraud later that month.
At the time, David Green, the director of the SFO, said: “This has been a long, detailed investigation and a complex prosecution involving assistance from a wide range of jurisdictions. Crimes like this damage the UK’s commercial reputation and this conviction shows that such activity will not be tolerated.”