A court in Norway Tuesday sentenced four former senior executives of Norwegian fertilizer maker Yara International to prison, including the ex-CEO and former top lawyer.
A three-judge panel convicted the defendants of paying about $8 million in bribes in India and Libya to gain access to markets there.
Former CEO Thorleif Enger was sentenced to three years in prison. He retired from Yara in 2008.
Former general counsel Kendrick Wallace was jailed two-and-a-half years.
Tor Holba, the former head of upstream activities, and Daniel Clauw, the ex deputy CEO, both received two years in prison.
“We strongly disagree with the conviction,” Enger’s defense attorney Ellen Holager Andenæs said. “We believe the court has made an incorrect evaluation of the evidence.”
The court acquitted Clauw of bribery in Libya but convicted him for graft in India.
The four were indicted in January 2014.
A few days before their indictment, Norwegian authorities fined Oslo-based Yara $48 million for paying $12 million in bribes between 2004 and 2009.
Yara is among the world’s biggest fertiliser firms.
The company admitted bribing senior government officials in India and Libya, including an oil minister of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
It also made corrupt payments to suppliers in Russia.
The Norwegian government owns 36.2 percent of Yara.
The company discovered the bribes in 2011 and reported them to Norwegian authorities, consistent with its zero tolerance for graft, it said last year.
The four defendants convicted Tuesday have filed appeals.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.