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FSA urges tribunal to reject Shell boss appeal

Daily Express (UK): FSA urges tribunal to reject Shell boss appeal

“The reserves crisis is being investigated by criminal authorities in the US, where Shell is facing civil actions for millions of pounds.”

19 Oct 2004

CITY watchdog the Financial Services Authority is urging an independent tribunal to dismiss an appeal by former Shell boss Sir Philip Watts.

It believes the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal should reject Watts’s claims that it identified him, in contravention of its own rules, when explaining the reasons for fining the oil giant £17 million over its reserves fiasco this year.

In a statement yesterday, the regulator said the tribunal should first decide whether Watts was “identified and prejudiced” when the fine was issued.

“We are confident he was not and that the tribunal will agree with us,” the FSA said. It believes if the tribunal agrees then it should throw the rest of Watts’s case out.

Watts launched an extraordinary attack on the FSA last month when lodging his appeal, the first move in a campaign to clear his name over the company’s restatement of 4.5 billion barrels of oil reserves.

He said the FSA had “violated” his rights and broken its own rules by identifying him indirectly, although he was not named. Watts argued the FSA had implied he was to blame.

The reserves crisis is being investigated by criminal authorities in the US, where Shell is facing civil actions for millions of pounds.

ANDREW JOHNSON

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