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