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United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
October 21, 2008, Decided; October 21, 2008, Filed
05 Cr. 518(SAS)
[*536] OPINION AND ORDER
SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN, U.S.D.J.:
This prosecution relates to alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") by defendant David Bourke and others in connection with the privatization of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic ("SOCAR"). Bourke has requested that the Court make determinations as to the content of applicable law in Azerbaijan and instruct the jury on certain defenses that might be available under the law of Azerbaijan. The Government and Bourke were unable to agree on the contents or applicability of that law. To resolve this disagreement, the Court held a hearing on September 11, 2008. This Opinion and Order contains the Court's determinations.
The Government's allegations in this case are complex, and it is unnecessary to recite them here. The relevant facts are as follows: SOCAR is the state oil company of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 1 In [**2] the mid-1990s, Azerbaijan began a program of privatization. 2 The program gave the [*537] President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, discretionary authority as to whether and when to privatize SOCAR. 3 Bourke and others allegedly violated the FCPA by making payments to Azeri officials to encourage the privatization of SOCAR and to permit them to participate in that privatization. 4 Bourke argues that the alleged payments were legal under Azeri law and thus under the FCPA (which provides an affirmative defense for payments that are legal under relevant foreign law) because they were the product of extortion. 5 He also argues that pursuant to Azeri law, any criminality associated with the payments was excused when he reported them to the President of Azerbaijan. 6
The Government and Bourke have submitted expert reports. The Government's expert is William E. Butler, John Edward Fowler Distinguished Professor of Law at the Dickinson School of Law, Pennsylvania State University, and Emeritus Professor of Comparative Law at the University of London. 7 Bourke's expert, Paul B. Stephan, is the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Professor of Law at the University of Virginia. 8 On September 11, 2008, the Court held a hearing in which the experts testified as to their interpretations of the relevant law. 9
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
582 F. Supp. 2d 535 *; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85443 **
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -against- VIKTOR KOZENY, FREDERIC BOURKE, JR., and DAVID PINKERTON, Defendants.
Subsequent History: Reconsideration denied by United States v. Kozeny, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101803 (S.D.N.Y., Dec. 12, 2008)
Prior History: United States v. Kozeny, 541 F.3d 166, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 18534 (2d Cir. N.Y., 2008)
bribe, extortion, foreign law, criminally responsible, relieved, corrupt, prosecuted, instruct a jury
Business & Corporate Compliance, Recordkeeping & Reporting Requirements, Issuers of Securities, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Criminal Law & Procedure, Bribery, Public Officials, Elements, Civil Procedure, Trials, Jury Trials, Province of Court & Jury, Evidence, Admissibility, Expert Witnesses, Penalties, General Overview, Defenses, Coercion & Duress, Jury Instructions, Particular Instructions, Theory of Defense