Wal King has changed his tactics.
After the bribery allegations surfaced, the former Leighton CEO lawyered up, and refused to comment.
But now he’s letting rip.
According to the Australian Financial Review, who spoke with him over the phone as he was at the Canton Fair in China, King’s not happy.
“I am exceptionally pissed off as I had no prior knowledge of events that related to alleged irregularities […] “I still don’t know if there were any irregularities.”
In another report, also in the Fin, King had categorically denied any knowledge of alleged bribes, saying he was effectively a “lame duck” CEO after his successor David Steward was informed he would be taking the top job.
“I had little influence due to Stewart wanting to seize power and myself wanting to step backwards. I was somewhat of a lame duck.”
Newspaper reports have alleged King was aware of a payment made to a contractor in Iraq to cover up a bribe made to officials in that country. Stewart reportedly told another executive David Savage that King was aware of the payment, according to a handwritten note.
King has now said he worked side-by-side with Stewart in the months before his departure, and that the payment was never brought up.
What seems to be bringing about the change in tactics from King — a prominent member of the Sydney business community — are reports he used a company credit card to buy booze from a bottle shop near his house, and that he paid for a private helicopter piloted by his son, according to The Fin.
“In my whole period at Leighton I absolutely and completely refused to be involved in anything tainted by corruption.”
There’s more here.
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