LONDON, July 18 Deutsche Bank's bid
to block disclosure of confidential documents at the heart of a
court battle between property tycoons Vincent and Robert
Tchenguiz and the UK's top anti-fraud agency has been struck
down by a London court.
The Tchenguiz brothers are suing the Serious Fraud Office
(SFO) for 300 million pounds ($455.2 million) in damages over
the agency's botched investigation into the pair, which led to
them being arrested in 2011 in a blaze of publicity.
The SFO has promised to hand over more than one million
documents relating to the case, which the brothers believe will
prove their arrests were groundless and so strengthen their
claim for damages.
The SFO has so far produced only a small portion of the
documents following technology problems and complaints from
third parties who dispute their right to disclose the
Deutsche Bank, one of third parties involved, objected to
the SFO handing over its confidential documents, telling the
court that disclosure was absolutely barred in law.
Judge Henry Bernard Eder disagreed, calling Deutsche Bank's
"They (the arguments) do not, in my judgment, go so far as
to justify the implication of an absolute bar," he said in a
judgment handed down on Thursday.
The ruling is binding for around 40 other entities,
including a number of other banks, whose documents the SFO wants
to give to the Iranian-born brothers' legal team.
Last week the SFO told the court they would not be able to
hand over all the relevant documents by the court-ordered
deadline of Aug. 1 because its disclosure exercise was more
complicated and time-consuming than previously thought. The
deadline was subsequently moved to December and the date for
trial to hear the damages claim pushed back from May 2014 to