British businessmen jailed over Iraqi bribes

Image caption, The company paid kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's government to win bridge contracts

Two British businessmen who paid bribes to win engineering contracts from Saddam Hussein's regime have been jailed.

Charles Forsyth, 62, from Hampshire, was sent to prison for 21 months. David Mabey, 49, from Berkshire, was given an eight-month sentence.

They inflated the price of work on steel bridges to provide kickbacks to the Iraqi government.

The payments in 2001 were in breach of UN sanctions.

Both men had been executives at the engineering firm Mabey and Johnson. The company, based in Lydney, Gloucestershire, was fined £5m in 2009 after it admitted breaching UN sanctions.

At Southwark Crown Court, Forsyth, from Hook, was also banned from being a company director for five years. Mabey, from Burchetts Green, near Maidenhead, was disqualified for two years.

A third executive, former sales manager Richard Gledhill, 64, from Watford, Hertfordshire, was given a suspended sentence. He had admitted involvement in the scheme.

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