The SFO investigation led to El Taher being arrested in August 2008 and charged in August 2009. He pleaded guilty to all charges on 13 January 2011 and was sentenced today, 25 February 2011.
Commenting on the result, SFO Director Richard Alderman said "I am pleased with this result. The offences committed here denied humanitarian aid to the people of Iraq. The SFO has been investigating these breaches of sanctions resolutely".
Second man sentenced
Aftab Noor Al-Hassan, a British citizen aged 66 from London, has been sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, for making illegal payments to the Iraqi Government of Saddam Hussein in contravention of United Nations sanctions and UK law.
He admitted that in the period 2001-2002 he made 13 illegal payments totalling over $1.6 million to the Iraqi Government in order to secure lucrative oil contracts. During this period payments to Iraq could legally only be made after a licence had been granted by HM Treasury. Al-Hassan had neither obtained nor sought any such licence.
The contracts obtained by the illegal payments were for 11 million barrels of oil valued at over $220 million. This oil was sold for a profit of over $4.4 million