ASIC faces rejection over wheat board allegations
Victorian Supreme Court judge Ross Robson has refused to allow the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to add new allegations to the civil penalty case against former Australian Wheat Board (AWB) chief executive Andrew Lindberg.
Lindberg’s trial is over the Iraq wheat scandal where the Board was found to have paid kickbacks to dictator Saddam Hussein in exchange for importing Australian wheat.
ASIC alleges that Lindberg knew about the kickbacks and therefore failed in his duty to inform the directors of their responsibilities and stop the illegal program. ASIC’s bid to include email correspondence was rejected on grounds yet to be revealed by Justice Robson.
The commission’s case against Lindberg aims to hold the executive responsible for the damage to AWB’s reputation, which has since initiated several costly investigations, a fall in its share price, and forced it out of the US wheat market.