London - Kazakh miner ENRC is pressing ahead with its battle against a former board member whom it accuses of orchestrating damaging leaks, handing a London court what it says are transcripts of conversations detailing sensitive information.
ENRC is set to delist from the London stock market in the coming weeks, once a takeover by its founders and the Kazakh government completes.
That will end a London adventure soured by boardroom battles and corruption claims that have triggered debate over London's rules on listings and corporate governance.
But, even with the endgame in sight, ENRC's management has showed little sign it is slowing down its pursuit of those it accuses of orchestrating media leaks the group blames for at least some of its troubles.
Throughout its six years as a listed company, ENRC was often the subject of rumour, speculation and unsourced reports. But the company has focused its wrath on Paul Judge, a senior figure in the City of London who was non-executive director from 2007 until earlier this year. Judge refutes the allegations.
A sheriff of the City of London - a position that is a pre-requisite for would-be mayors - Judge is for some in the Kazakh group the symbol of London's promises gone sour. For the miner's detractors, Judge, former Cadbury Schweppes executive and a well-known figure in the City, is simply a useful scapegoat.
ENRC filed a legal claim against Judge in July, claiming damages for “breach of fiduciary duty”. He counter-sued for libel, accusing the company of making defamatory statements.
In court documents filed late last week, though, ENRC detailed transcripts of what it said were conversations between Judge and an unnamed journalist, including information on an investigation into ENRC by Britain's Serious Fraud Office.
A formal SFO probe was confirmed publicly by ENRC in April.
According to the documents, Judge provided details on the SFO, on a potential raid on ENRC's offices, allegations of corruption at a Kazakh unit and alleged difficulties encountered by lawyers investigating whistleblower claims of corruption.
Lawyers Berwin Leighton Paisner, acting for Judge, said he “refutes the new allegations completely and will address them in his reply to ENRC's defence to counterclaim”. - Reuters