Two Company Directors at the engineering firm, Mabey & Johnson, have been jailed for paying bribes to secure engineering contracts with the Iraqi government. Mr. Charles Forsyth and Mr. David Mabey, made illegal payments to Iraq during 2001/2002. Company Sales Executive, Mr Richard Gledhill, was given a suspended sentence after previously admitting his involvement in the scheme.

The company entered into a contract under the UN “Oil-for-Food” programme. At the time, Mr. Forsyth was the Managing Director and Mr. Mabey was Sales Director of the company. The payments, which were over £353,000, were made to secure a contract to supply steel modular bridges. Mr. Mabey was sentenced to an eight month jail term and banned from being a company director for two years. Mr. Forsyth was jailed for 21 months and disqualified from being a company director for five years. Both men deny they gave consent, or connived, to bump up the price of a contract. Mr. Gledhill was given an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, after previously pleading guilty to making over €4 million available to the Republic of Iraq.

In passing sentence, HHJ Rivlin QC said: "The bare truth of this case is that Mr. Forsyth bears the most culpability".

In relation to Mr. David Mabey, HHJ Rivlin QC said: "When a director of a major company plays even a small part, he can expect to receive a custodial sentence".

SFO Director, Mr. Richard Alderman stated: "This shows that the SFO is determined to go after senior corporate executives who break the law. I am pleased with the result. It sends out a very strong message from the courts on this type of offending”.