Tchenguiz brothers to sue SFO for £200m over arrests

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Tchenguiz brothers are to sue the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for more than £200m after it scrapped a high-profile investigation into the property tycoons' role in the banking crisis.

Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz were arrested by the SFO in dawn raids on their homes in March last year. However, the agency was forced to drop its case against Vincent, pictured, in May and Robert in October.

Yesterday's claim for damages at a hearing in London will be the biggest in the history of the SFO and, if awarded, will raise huge questions about its future. It is double the figure that the Mayfair-based brothers first suggested in a letter to the former head of the agency, Richard Alderman.

Alison McDonald, the counsel for Robert Tchenguiz, told the High Court yesterday her client had filed a claim for false imprisonment against the SFO and is seeking damages in the wake of his arrest.

Rosalind Phelps, for Vincent Tchenguiz, said a claim for trespass had been submitted but further claims were being considered against the SFO for misfeasance in a public office and malicious prosecution, as well as a claim under the Human Rights Act.

The brothers' arrests were part of an SFO investigation into the collapse of Kaupthing, the Icelandic bank.