Jury in £322m fraud trial against four Barclays executives discharged

The jury in the fraud trial against four Barclays executives has been discharged.

John Varley, the bank’s chief executive from 2004 to 2011, and three of his senior staff have been on trial since January over claims they illegally sweetened the deal for Qatari investors.

It was alleged that they funnelled £322m in secret payments to Qatar at the height of the financial crisis in June 2008.

Allegations: From left, Richard Boath, Roger Jenkins, Tom Kalaris and John Varley

The Middle Eastern investors were part of two rounds of fundraising, which brought in £11.8 billion of cash to shore up the bank and avoid a government bailout.

Varley, 63, dealmaker Roger Jenkins, 63, and fellow executives Richard Boath, 60, and Tom Kalaris, 63, deny fraud by false representation. Reporting restrictions are in place.

It is the first time a major bank’s chief executive has been tried over actions taken during the financial crisis. The Serious Fraud Office, which prosecuted the case, alleges that the £322m in fees were side deals designed to induce the Qataris to invest, and that they were not fully disclosed to the market or other investors.

The trial had been taking place at Southwark Crown Court in London, before the judge discharged the jury yesterday.

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