A&O accused of putting 'pressure' on witness

A&O has come under the spotlight as a trial in a high-profile corruption case begins in London.

New trial sets up at Southwark Crown Court for Allen & Overy SFO case National News / Johnathan Adam Davies

Prosecutors at the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) are alleging that A&O interfered with one of their witnesses in such a way that a planned trial had to be abandoned and a new trial set up.The new trial is now taking place at London's Southwark Crown Court. The defendant is Victor Dahdaleh, a Canadian-British businessman who has been charged with corruption. After the alleged interference with the SFO witness, the first attempt at a trial was abandoned four days before it was due to start, and Allen & Overy stood down as Mr Dahdaleh's lawyers. They were replaced with Norton Rose Fulbright.

Bahrain connection

Mr Dahdaleh's Bahrain-based lawyer is also said to have put  'pressure' on  the same witness. Speaking of Mr Dahdaleh, Prosecutor Philip Shears QC asked the jury in the case, according to The Financial Times: 'Were these attempts to get at the truth by a suspect wrongly charged, or the actions of a guilty man desperate to do anything to stop criminal proceedings?' Allen & Overy 'did not immediately respond' to an email from the Financial Times asking for a comment. Allen & Overy is now providing evidence to Mr Dahdaleh's defence.

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