Ex finance chief of UK seismic equipment firm cleared of bribery

LONDON (Reuters) - The former finance chief of a British seismic equipment company has been acquitted by a London jury of bribery charges, the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said on Wednesday.

A jury at Southwark Crown court unanimously cleared Andrew Bell, a 58-year-old former finance chief and caretaker managing director of Guralp Systems Ltd (GSL), of charges he conspired to bribe a South Korean public official over 13 years.

The jury continues to consider its verdict in the case against GSL’s 67-year-old founder, Cansun Guralp, and former sales head Natalie Pearce, 47.

They are charged with conspiracy to make corrupt payments -- an offence that carries a maximum sentence of seven years and a fine -- to help secure contracts for GSL between 2002 and 2015.

Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; Editing by Alexandra Hudson