Wikileaks founder Julian Assange isn’t going to be the only shadowy figure with a history of douchebaggery who will be hiding from Interpol. Former vicelord of the authoritarian Bush regime Dick Cheney is now also a wanted man.
As Slate points out, the new developments could put a crimp in Dick’s travel plans:
It’s about to get a little harder for former vice president Dick Cheney to leave the country.BusinessWeek reports that Nigeria is planning to charge Cheney with bribery over accusations that Halliburton spent $180 million bribing Nigerian officials in order to win a $6 billion natural-gas contract. Cheney was the company’s CEO between 1995 and 2000. While several other foreign companies are also being charged, “KBR and Halliburton agreed to pay $579 million in February 2009 for bribery payments in Nigeria that stretched from 1994 to 2004,” BusinessWeek says. The news was first reported in Lagos’ Guardian newspaper, and Nigerian officials say that they plan to file charges “in the next three days.” Godwin Obla, prosecuting counsel at Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, added that Cheney’s arrest warrant “will be issued and transmitted through Interpol,” the police organization that recently filed a warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
A bit more detail, via Bloomberg:
Nigeria will file charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and officials from five foreign companies including Halliburton Co. over a $180 million bribery scandal, a prosecutor at the anti-graft agency said.
Indictments will be lodged in a Nigerian court “in the next three days,” Godwin Obla, prosecuting counsel at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said in an interview today at his office in Abuja, the capital. An arrest warrant for Cheney “will be issued and transmitted through Interpol,” the world’s biggest international police organization, he said.
Peter Long, Cheney’s spokesman, said he couldn’t immediately comment when contacted today and said he would respond later to an e-mailed request for comment.
Obla said charges will be filed against current and former chief executive officers of Halliburton, including Cheney, who was CEO from 1995 to 2000, and its former unit KBR Inc., based in Houston, Texas; Technip SA, Europe’s second-largest oilfield- services provider; Eni SpA, Italy’s biggest oil company; and Saipem Construction Co., a unit of Eni. Obla didn’t identify the former officials whom he said held office when the alleged bribes were paid.
Last week, Nigeria arrested at least 23 officials from companies including Halliburton, Saipem, Technip and a former subsidiary of Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG in connection with alleged illegal payments to Nigerian officials. Those detained were all freed on bail on Nov. 29.
Liquefied Natural Gas
Authorities in the West African nation are probing Halliburton, Saipem and Technip for the alleged payment of $180 million in bribes to win a $6 billion liquefied natural-gas contract. Panalpina is being investigated for illegal payments it allegedly made to Nigerian customs officials on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. …
So will the Obama administration intervene to try and block any prosecution of Cheney, the way it reportedly (according to the latest Wikileak…) stepped in to prevent Bush administration officials being prosecuted for torture? Don’t be surprised if that’s exactly what happens. Protecting the prerogatives of the office often means protecting previous presidents and their administrations, which is why powers taken by one White House are rarely given back by another. It’s kind of the way the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue club works.