Halliburton May Pay 500 Million To Nigerian Government To Settle Case And Keep Cheney Out Of Jail

As ThinkProgress previously reported, earlier this month, the Nigerian government moved to “charge former Vice President Dick Cheney in a massive bribery case involving $180 million in kickbacks paid to Nigerian lawmakers, who awarded a $6 billion natural gas pipeline contract to Halliburton subsidiary KBR when Cheney was running the company.” As a part of the charge, the Nigerian government is seeking an arrest warrant through Interpol for the former vice president.

Now, GlobalPost is reporting that the company is in talks with the Nigerian government to arrive at a settlement. Sources within the Nigerian government informed GlobalPost that a possible plea bargain could “involve a $500 million settlement“:

Halliburton is planning to make a plea bargain in former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s corruption case, Nigerian officials told GlobalPost. […]

However, Halliburton is in talks with Nigerian officials to make a plea bargain in the case, said Femi Babafemi, spokesman for Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the agency which has pressed the charges against Cheney.

“The companies are asking for a plea bargain, we are reviewing their request, we are talking with them, but we have not gone far with the talks yet,” Babafemi told GlobalPost. Although Babafemi did not give further details, other sources within the agency said the plea bargain might involve a $500 million settlement.

GlobalPost goes on to note that “Cheney and three other top executives could face sentences of three years in a Nigerian prison if convicted of the charges in the 16-count indictment.” One has to wonder how the employees and stockholders of the company feel about it possibly sacrificing half a billion dollars to keep Cheney and other executives out of jail. (HT: emptywheel)