Halliburton is under Justice Department Securities andExchange Commission investigation over allegations ofimproper dealings in Iraq, Kuwait and Nigeria, and now thecompany is moving its headquarters and its chief executiveofficer, David J. Lesar, to Dubai. Halliburton will remain aUS company subject to US laws, but Dubai has no extraditionagreement with the United States, meaning that Mr. Lesarcould not be compelled to return to the US to testify, standtrial or serve any sentence related to any Halliburtonactivities under investigation.
Last month, Congress was told that $2.7 billion paid toHalliburton and its subsidiaries and subcontractors for workdone in Iraq was either excessive or unsupported.
Another upcoming investigation that affects Halliburton is the current scandal at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The Washington Post reported that the Army agreed to privatize the operaton of Walter Reed by awarding a $120 million contract to IAP Worldwide Services, a contractor with connections to KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary.
To explain the move to Dubai, Lesar stated, “The Eastern Hemisphere is a market that is more heavily weighted toward oil exploration and production opportunities and growing our business here will bring more balance to Halliburton?s overall portfolio.” He did not mention the investigations or the legal effects of the move.
The Bush Administration offered Vice President Dick Cheney’scompany and other favored enterprises no-bid contracts forwork in Iraq. The President has recently purchased an estatein Paraguay. Paraguay has an extradition treaty with theUnited States, but there have been few, if any, extraditionsin the past half-century.
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