Former head of British Army joins the board at Gulf Keystone

The former head of the British Army, Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, has been appointed a non-executive director of an oil firm that has extensive assets in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Lord Guthrie, who was Chief of the Defence Staff between 1997 and 2001, will join Gulf Keystone, which is floated on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.

Last week Bloomberg news reported that Todd Kozel, the founder and chief executive officer of Gulf Keystone, has been accused in a UK lawsuit of making a £17.2m profit by using an offshore trust to buy stock just before the company announced it had struck oil in northern Iraq. Excalibur Ventures LLC, which is seeking a 30 per cent stake in Gulf Keystone's Kurdistan oil fields in its lawsuit, said Mr Kozel's holdings were "opaquely structured and incompletely disclosed". Gulf Keystone says it has complied fully with the exchange's rules. The firm plans to join the FTSE 250 Index next year.

Lord Guthrie supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq by Britain and the United States. But in 2007 he told The Independenton Sunday: "Now I'm not sosure. In fact I think it wasprobably wrong."