Brief of u.s v. kozeny

United s v. Kozeny 582 F. Supp. 2d 535 U. S. Dist. LEXIS 85443 (2008) Facts of the Case: SOCAR is the oil company of the Republic of Azerbaijan. During the middle of the 1990s, Azerbaijan started a privatization program, where President Heydar Ali-yev had the authority to decide if and when to privatize SOCAR. Bourke and others allegedly breached the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying certain Azeri officials to persuade them to privatize SOCAR and to allow them to partake in its privatization. Bourke argued that these payments were legal under Azeri law and also under the FCPA because they were outcomes of extortion, and that by reporting the payments to the President, he should be absolved of related criminal charges. Defendant asked that the court determine the substance of appropriate law in Azerbaijan and instruct the jury on particular defenses that might be accessed through the law of Azerbaijan.
Issues: Should the defendants be exempted of criminal liability under Article 171 of the Azerbaijan Criminal Code (ACC)?
Decisions: The Court held that it would not instruct the jury on giving the defendants exemptions to criminal liability under Article 171.
Reasoning: The Court argued that, though the defendants were relieved from prosecution because the bribery had been properly reported to the authorities, it did not make the action unlawful. Article 171 relieves the payer of prosecution, but not the payment. The defendants showed “ corrupt” intent by consciously paying the officials which made them liable to the law. However, if the defendants provided evidence for “ true extortion” then the Court would instruct the jury to provide exemptions to criminal liability under Article 171.
Analysis: The case is significant because it shows that reporting the bribery does not exempt bribers from related criminal charges, unless in cases of “ true extortion.” Defendants of bribery cases cannot easily evade the legal consequences of corrupt bribery intentions.