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.”

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