Norway: American Executive Sentenced to Seven Years for Bribery

A Norwegian appeals court said Tuesday it extended the prison sentence for an American who served as chief legal adviser of fertilizer giant Yara International to seven years for aggravated bribery in India and Libya.

Yara fertilizer copyYara fertilizer (Photo: SeppVei Public Domain)The Borgarting Appeals Court extended Kendrick Wallace’s initial sentence from two-and-a-half years to seven for his "very central role" in the company’s bribery payments, the court said.

In what Chief Public Prosecutor Marianne Djupesland called "the most serious corruption case we have had in Norway so far," the Oslo court upheld a guilty verdict against Wallace in December.

As senior legal advisor, Wallace’s responsibilities included anti-corruption work. Despite this, his violations appeared to be "well planned," the court said in a statement.

Yara offered to pay at least US$ 4.5 million in bribes to the son of Libya’s ex-oil minister Shukri Ghanem — who served under dictator Muammar Gaddafi — in connection with the construction of a fertilizer plant in Libya, according to the appeals court’s statement. At least US$ 1.5 million was actually paid.

Three other former executives in the case, including two Norwegians and a Frenchman, were acquitted, AFP reported.

Partly state-owned Yara paid 295 million Norwegian kroner (US$ 48.09 million) in fines in January 2014 for bribing top Libyan and Indian officials in order to win contracts, media reported.