Prince and KPMG meet in court

A LEGAL BATTLE between Prince Jefri, younger brother of the Sultan of Brunei, and the accountancy firm KPMG reaches London's High Court in the Strand today. Prince Jefri is seeking to prevent KPMG from divulging personal financial information about himself to the Government of Brunei, which has hired KPMG to carry out a thorough investigation of the oil kingdom's financial position.

Last year the prince engaged KPMG to compile a report on his personal finances, and provided unprecedented access to 50 forensic accountants from the firm. The prince is now claiming that KPMG cannot do the new job for the Government as this would be a conflict of interest.

A spokesman for the prince said yesterday: "Prince Jefri has nothing to hide. He has absolutely no objections to legitimate professionals being engaged to make these sorts of investigations, as long as they are not conflicted." A KPMG spokesman countered: "That's why we are in court tomorrow - because we believe that we are not conflicted".

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