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ASIC, AWB swap secret documents

ASIC, AWB swap secret documents

The corporate regulator has reached an out-of-court agreement with the Australian Wheat Board as AWB agreed to hand over confidential documents from the Iraq oil-for-food saga.

THE corporate regulator has reached an out-of-court agreement with the Australian Wheat Board as AWB agreed to hand over confidential documents from the Iraq oil-for-food saga.

AWB has agreed to produce the documents sought by ASIC in its oil-for-food investigations subject to AWB’s claims of privilege. The agreement provides for the determination of AWB’s claims for privilege in those documents.

The documents are the subject of proceedings in the Federal Court. The parties will seek consent orders reflecting the agreement.

The agreement comes as ASIC also agreed to hand over transcripts of interviews conducted by ASIC in its investigations, which AWB had sought privilege for.

AWB had wanted access to the documents, which were provided to Andrew Lindberg, former managing director of AWB, in ASIC’s civil penalty proceedings on the basis that they may contain material over which AWB claims legal professional privilege.

The process will ensure that AWB has an opportunity to protect any privileged information in the transcripts before it is disclosed in ASIC's proceedings.

As a result, AWB’s appeal to the High Court has been withdrawn by consent with no orders as to costs, ASIC said.


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