A former Barclays chairman has said he was unaware of documents detailing £280m worth of payments to the bank’s Qatari investors in 2008 that is at the centre of a fraud trial in London.
Lead prosecutors for the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) questioned Marcus Agius over his knowledge of a key document from 31 October that year, detailing the payment terms of an advisory services agreement that would result in the bank paying £280m to the Qataris.
“Absolutely not … I saw this document for the first time some years afterward,” Agius told a jury at Southwark crown court on Wednesday. “Not only did I not see this document, I was not aware of its existence.”
The SFO’s lead prosecutor, Edward Brown QC, went on to ask whether the former chairman was aware of how it was negotiated or how the figure was arrived at. To both questions, Agius answered “no”.
The SFO alleges four former Barclays executives – Richard Boath, John Varley, Roger Jenkins and Tom Kalaris – lied to the stock market and other investors about how £322m in fees were paid to Qatar in relation to emergency fundraising of more than £11bn in 2008.
Prosecutors say the executives put together two advisory services agreements in order to disguise Qatar’s demand for larger commission payments.
All four men have denied the charges. Prosecutors have not accused Agius of wrongdoing.
The trial, which is expected to last up to six months, continues.