G4S employees in Afghanistan sentenced to two years for bribery

G4S became the latest British company to become embroiled in an overseas bribery case yesterday, when two employees were jailed in Afghanistan for paying local officials to release impounded vehicles.

Bill Shaw, a British employee of the security firm and a former officer in the Military Police, was sentenced to two years in Afghanistan's notorious Pul-e-Charkhi prison near Kabul. He was convicted in a special anti-corruption court, which has been partly funded by the UK as part of Afghan reconstruction effort. Maiwand Limar, an Afghan employee, was also convicted.

G4S, which has up to 1,500 employees in Afghanistan, said the charges were without foundation and that the convictions are unsafe. "We continue to believe the charges against both Bill Shaw and Maiwand Limar were totally misconceived, not proven in court and we stand fully behind their innocence," a spokesman for G4S said.

"We strongly disagree with the verdict and maintain that both men behaved in an open and fully transparent fashion.

"It is expected that an appeal will be lodged shortly and we will be encouraging the Afghan and British authorities to work with us in overturning this patently unfair judgement. We will continue to support both men and their families at this most difficult time," the spokesman said.

Shaw was convicted of paying local officials $25,000 (£16,000) to release two impounded vehicles. The company maintains that it was sure it was dealing with the Afghan National Directorate of Security and that the payment was a legitimate fee. Shaw, who spent 28 years in the army and was awarded an MBE for his military service, cooperated fully with the investigation, G4S said.

In the future, companies such as G4S could face prosecution in the UK for bribes paid by foreign-based staff. The Bribery Act, which was passed in the wash-up period before Parliament was dissolved at the beginning of this month, makes it an offence for companies to allow their employees to bribe overseas officials. G4S will not be caught by the legislation, which is yet to come into force.

Separately, the Chinese government yesterday defined what it classifies as commercial secrets, a month after four employees of the mining giant Rio Tinto were found guilty of corporate espionage, and of paying bribes.

The guidance was dated 25 March, the day after the convictions in the Rio Tinto case.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine