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8 theSun | THURSDAY MAY 14 2009

news without borders

Stanford exec
charged with Payback begins in British
obstructing justice
CHICAGO: A senior executive
at the Stanford Financial Group
was charged with obstruction of
justice on Tuesday for lying to
Holt of lying to investigators
about what she knew about the
questionable assets.
The indictment further al-
MPs’ expenses row
officials investigating an alleged leges that two days after her Feb LONDON: A British cabinet is necessary because politicians servatives who claimed expenses
US$9.2 billion (RM32.3 billion) 10 false testimony, “Penderg- minister pledged on Tuesday to must show themselves worthy of for gardening, furniture and even
fraud by cricket mogul and fin- est-Holt caused US$4.3 million repay thousands of pounds of public trust”, he said. tennis court maintenance would
ancier Allen Stanford. (RM15 million) in (Stanford property tax in the latest fall-out Earlier, David Cameron, the pay back what they received,
Stanford has not faced crimi- International Bank Ltd) funds of an expenses row that Prime leader of the main opposition and he promised to refund one
nal charges in the alleged Ponzi to be wire-transferred to SIBL’s Minister Gordon Brown said Conservatives, ordered his MPs bill he himself had claimed.
scheme, but his Houston-based operating account in Houston,” must be met with “extreme” ac- to pay back some of their expens- His party would also set up a
brokerage and offshore banks the Justice Department said. tion. es claimed after reports of their new expenses scrutiny panel by
have been placed in receivership The case is the most high- Fighting Communities Secretary Ha- lavish spending on swimming which lawmakers must abide “or
as the civil case brought by the profile alleged fraud scheme rages in zel Blears said she would pay pools, gardens and a moat. they will no longer be Conserva-
Securities and Exchange Com- since the SEC charged Wall £13,332 (RM71,459) in tax that Brown’s ministers were the tive MPs,” Cameron said.
mission proceeds. Street financier Bernard Madoff Sri Lanka leaked expenses claims sug- target of the first few days of Meanwhile, the Daily Tel-
Chief investment officer Laura with carrying out a US$50 billion despite gested she should have already revelations, and Blears said on egraph newspaper, which has
Pendergest-Holt is the first Stan- (RM175 billion) Ponzi scheme calls for paid when she sold her London Tuesday she had decided to act been publishing the expenses
ford executive to face criminal in December. Madoff pleaded flat in August 2004. in response to public “outrage”. claims, revealed the first claims
charges and was indicted on two guilty to fraud and faces a prison halt Her decision came after a fifth She had told parliamentary details of lawmakers from the
counts of obstruction. term of up to 150 years when pg 10 day of newspaper revelations authorities that her London flat smaller Liberal Democrats in
The indictment alleges that sentenced in June. about MPs’ lavish claims on tax- was a secondary residence re- yesterday’s edition. Party leader
she conspired with two unnamed Stanford was behind the high- payers’ money prompted Brown quired for her work in the capital, Nick Clegg had sought to head off
executives and a company lawyer profile Stanford Super Series to take decisive action. a designation which allowed her any embarrassment by pledging
to provide misleading informa- Twenty20 competition. On Feb In a round of television inter- to claim costs for the property. action on Tuesday, but was forced
tion about the value and content 17, the SEC accused Stanford of views, the premier announced When she sold the flat she to apologise after it emerged he
of the bank’s assets to securities fraud in selling US$9.2 billion an independent review of every should have paid capital gains claimed £80 (RM428) of interna-
investigators, the US Department (RM32.3 billion) in securities parliamentary expense claim tax as is due on second homes. tional phone calls. He will repay
of Justice said. by promising “improbable and made over the past four years. However, her expenses claims the sum.
It also accuses Pendergest- unsubstantiated” returns. – AFP It was “extreme action but it showed she did not, suggesting His predecessor, Menzies
the flat was simultaneously reg- Campbell, claimed £10,000
istered with the tax authorities as (RM53,600) for refurbishing
her main home. his London flat, while housing
“I have decided it’s not enough spokesman Lembit Opik claimed
to comply with the rules and the £40 (RM214) for a court sum-
law. What matters is what people mons he received for not paying
think and feel about the issue,” his council tax. He will refund it.
Blears said. Although none of the lawmak-
Cameron, who if opinion polls ers caught up in the scandal have
are to be believed could be prime broken the rules on parliamen-
minister within a year, earlier tary expenses, their profligate
said the behaviour of some of spending has provoked fury
his lawmakers was “unethical in Britain, which is struggling
and wrong” and repeatedly said through its worst recession since
“sorry” for what had happened. World War II.
“When I read about the swim- A Populus poll for The Times
ming pools, the moats... I am taken over the weekend revealed
completely appalled, most of my the main political parties are suf-
colleagues are appalled, people fering from the scandal. Brown’s
want something done about governing Labour Party fell four
this,” he told a hastily-called points on last month to 26%,
press conference. while the Conservatives were
Cameron said leading Con- also down four, to 39%. – AFP

Bank chief tapped for


Indonesian vice-president
JAKARTA: Indonesian President with growth forecast at around
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is ex- four percent this year and six
pected to name the central bank percent in 2010.
governor as his running mate in Indonesian Chamber of Com-
July presidential polls tomorrow, a merce and Industry’s chairman
move backed by business leaders. M.S Hidayat said the Australian
But the choice of Bank Indonesia and US-educated technocrat
Governor Boediono has angered was a steady hand who could be
Yudhoyono’scoalition partners trusted to look after the economy
including Islamic parties, which during the global downturn.
have said they will not accept a “It will bring positive sentiment
“neoliberal” economist with per- to our market as he is highly re-
ceived links to the United States. spected for his professionalism
“The president ... has made his and his ability in leading Indone-
decision based on Boediono’s pro- sia’s economy in the face of the
fessionalism, integrity and loyalty,” global financial crisis,” he said.
said Marzuki Ali, secretary-general “If he is Yudhoyono’s vice-
of Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party president, he will be given great
yesterday. power to monitor economic is-
“His ability in the economic sues in the cabinet. His number
field is undoubted.” one job will be to handle the global
Boediono, 66, was coordinat- financial crisis and the country’s
ing minister for the economy economic growth.”
before being appointed a year Yudhoyono is seeking re-elec-
ago to lead the central bank out tion on July 8 for a second five-
of a massive corruption scandal year term on a platform of sound
that had tarnished its international economic management and clean
standing. government.
He has worked closely with Opinion polls put him well
respected Finance Minister ahead of his closest likely rival,
Sri Mulyani Indrawati to steer ex-president Megawati Sukar-
Southeast Asia’s biggest economy noputri of the Democratic Party
through the US-led financial crisis, of Struggle. – AFP