Former Innospec chief executive Paul Jennings pleads guilty to paying bribes

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The former chief executive of chemicals group Innospec (NasdaqGS: IOSP - news) has pleaded guilty to paying bribes to officials in Iraq and Indonesia.

Jennings’s guilty plea is the third conviction secured in the long running corruption investigation into the international company. Two other individuals facing corruption charges, former sales director Miltos Papachristos and chief executive Dennis Kerrison, pleaded not guilty at Southwark Crown Court.

The Serious Fraud Office case against Innospec involves the payment of bribes to public officials in return for contracts to supply lead additives to petrol. At the time the product, tetraethyl lead, was banned in most counties due to health concerns.

The SFO caused controversy after it negotiated a $12.7m (£8.2m) plea bargain with the company in 2010. The fine was described by the judge in the case Lord Justice Thomas as “wholly inadequate”.

Jennings pleaded guilty to two counts paying bribes to officials in Indonesia and Iraq between 2002 and 2008. He has previously agreed to pay $230,000 to settle related claims against him by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Former Innospec marketing director David Turner pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to corrupt in January. He is awaiting sentencing.

The trial of Mr Papachristos and Mr Kerrison is due to start in April.