Former soldier versus oil baron in £1bn High Court fight
A £1bn High Court fight over an oil group focused on northern Iraq, which involves a former Green Beret and a tycoon who entertains contacts at strip clubs, starts on Wednesday.
In one of the most high-stake commercial battles this year, Rex Wempen, who became a business consultant in Baghdad after his career in the US forces, will say that his company, Excalibur Ventures, is owed either 30 per cent of Gulf Keystone Petroleum's Iraq assets or $1.6bn (£980m) in damages.
Todd Kozel, the colourful chairman and chief executive of Gulf Keystone, one of the Alternative Investment Market's biggest companies, will deny the claims over the course of the 12-week case.
Mr Wempen is expected to argue from the witness stand that he was the one who first identified the oil potential of Kurdistan, the semi-autonomous region to the north of Iraq.
Mr Kozel will argue that he was the brain behind the deals that have seen Gulf Keystone make one of the biggest finds the oil industry has seen in years.
The spectre of the case is thought to be a major reason why Gulf Keystone has not met its long-stated aim of jumping from the junior Aim market to the main board of the London Stock Exchange.
Also, there have been tensions between Baghdad and the Kurdistan capital, Erbil, over the legality of the contracts that the Iraqi government has signed with foreign oil explorers and producers.
Mr Kozel's last high-profile court appearance, last year, involved his $100m divorce case in Florida, when he said of one $5,100 strip-club bill: "When we do it, we take a lot of people and do it properly."
Simon Calder looks at communities fighting back against the poachers
Guide dog mauled while helping owner deliver Christmas cards
Chemical and radiation experts investigate after death of man found inside tent in field
Nelson Mandela’s complex bond with Britain
The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
10 stone five-year-old taken into care
- 1 Turning up the voice of America
- 2 The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 An obsessive’s documenting of Israeli war crimes in Lebanon can show us how the West lost respect for international law
- 5 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: Technical Ap...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus: Excellent, opportunities exist for high calibr...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus: Key purpose of the role will be to act as Fixe...
£42000 - £46500 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Big 4 Opportunity...