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Barclays Bank gags Guardian newspaper over leaked tax avoidance documents – info still available on Wikileaks

with 3 comments

From Wikileaks

On Monday 16th March 2009, The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom published a series of leaked memos from the banking giant Barclays, together with the article:

The next day, these documents were removed from The Guardian web archive, as a result of a court injunction obtained in the middle of the night:

Barclays’ lawyers, Freshfields, worked into the early hours to force the Guardian to remove the documents from the website. They argued that the documents were the property of Barclays and could only have been leaked by someone who acquired them wrongfully and in breach of confidentiality agreements.

The Guardian’s solicitor, Geraldine Proudler, was woken by the judge at 2am and asked to argue the Guardian’s case by telephone. Around 2.31am, Mr Justice Ouseley issued an order for the documents to be removed from the Guardian’s website.

The documents are copies of alleged internal memos from within Barclays Bank. They were sent by an anonymous whistleblower to Vince Cable, Liberal-Democrat shadow chancellor. The documents reveal a number of elaborate international tax avoidance schemes by the SCM (Structured Capital Markets) division of Barclays.

According to these documents, Barclays has been systematically assisting clients to avoid huge amounts of tax they should be liable for across multiple jurisdictions.

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Written by Richard Wilson

March 17, 2009 at 5:16 pm

3 Responses

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  1. You can see all the gag documents on this site in PDF format. Copy them and email them around so people see what the banks are upto.


    March 18, 2009 at 12:12 pm

  2. As a child of the 6o’s, nothing Barclays Bank has done or currently does surprises me. From dealing with apartheid South Africa, through the frequent efforts to end free banking including the use of ATMs to tax evasion/avoidance, they are the epitome of the word banker in its worst sense.

    Richard T

    March 19, 2009 at 9:34 am

  3. I watched a Parliamentary Consultation on Press Standards,Privacy and libel of 10th March 2009.It was bizarre to see a Group of Expert Lawyers, who tried to convince the Committee to make some sort of restrictions on how Journalists and Media are publishing sensitive stories,making it possible to google search it even after Lawyers have won a Court case against the publication.Are we heading to a review of our Civil liberties,a review of how the Press has to operate.The case of Lloyds TSB (
    ) where they faked documents so as to facilitate the cash of Libya and Sudan, shows clearly how Corporation think that they are untouchable, always thinking that they can pay Million of Dollars so that no criminal charges be brought against them.As an Activist/Campaigner, it disturbs me to see always the powerful (Countries,Corporation,Politicians) get away with things that an ordinary citizen would be imprisoned for.The equality I dream is where an ordinary citizen is treated with the same respect as someone with financial wealth/influencial Friends, a world where everyone benefits of the same opportunities (Jobs,education,access to Health,Business opportunities and fair Price and Contracts), if we can see this achieved, we can all say with confidence that Equality has arrived in our time.

    Desire K

    March 24, 2009 at 8:38 pm

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