The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, affirming a lower court decision, has ruled that the Government of Iraq cannot maintain a civil action against the companies that reportedly paid bribes and kickbacks in the UN-sponsored corrupt Oil-for-Food program, which was operated during Saddam Hussein's regime. The defendants included some of the world's most prominent multi-national corporations, including Banque Paribas.
The thrust of the decision:
(1) A RICO action against the defendants could not be maintained due to the legal principle of In Pari Delicto (of equal fault)*.
(2) There is no private right of action for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
(3) The other counts are properly brought under state, and not Federal, law.
Readers who wishes to review the complete text of the decision, can access it on the Second Circuit website**.
* Since both parties are equally at fault, the Court will not involve itself in resolving one party's claim over the other. Members of the Hussein regime were recipients of the kickbacks.