Danny McCance 7 Jan 2019 01:38pm

Former Barclays bosses in dock over Qatar deal

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) case is against former Barclays chief executive John Varley and senior staff members Roger Jenkins, Thomas Kalaris and Richard Boath

The trial, which begins today in Southwark Crown Court, follows a six-year SFO investigation into capital raising arrangements between Barclays, Qatar Holding and Challenger Universal in June and October 2008, during the height of the financial crisis.

The investigation also looked at a $3bn (£2.4bn) loan made by Barclays to the State of Qatar, via the Ministry of Economy and Finance in November 2008.

In June 2017, the bank and all four defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in relation to the June 2008 capital raising, while the bank, Jenkins and Varley were also charged with unlawful financial assistance.

When the SFO bought these charges it was the first instance of a bank and senior bankers being charged with criminal offences over actions taken during the financial crisis.

The charges against the bank were dismissed by the Crown Court in May 2018.

In July last year, the SFO applied to the High Court to have the charges against Barclays re-instated, but this was ruled against in October.

The prosecution arguments are expected to start on the 21 January and the case is expected to last between 12 and 16 weeks.

The SFO is under scrutiny after its most-recent high profile case, against two former Tesco executives accused of fraud and false accounting, collapsed last month.