Trial date set for Smith & Ouzman four

Smith & Ouzman, printers in Brampton Road Hampden Park Eastbourne. February 21st 2013 E08189P
Smith & Ouzman, printers in Brampton Road Hampden Park Eastbourne. February 21st 2013 E08189P

Four Smith & Ouzman staff have had a trial date set for corruption charges on November 10 next year.

The printing company, based in Brampton Road, Eastbourne, specialises in producing ballot papers, exam certificates and payment slips.

Christopher Smith, 70, of Ripe, the former chairman of Smith & Ouzman Limited, and sales and marketing director, Nick Smith, 42, of Eastbourne, are accused of paying more than £400,000 in bribes to win overseas business contracts.

International sales manager, Tim Forrester, 46, of Eastbourne, and company agent Abdirahman Omar, 37, of Stanmore, north west London, are also said to be involved in the alleged plot, between November 2006 and December 2010.

The charges relate to some £413,552.12 worth of transactions in Mauritania, Ghana, Somalia and Kenya.

All four men spoke only to confirm their names when they appeared at Southwark Crown Court this week.

Prosecutor Mark Bryant-Heron, for the Serious Fraud Office, said there would be a five-count indictment under Section One of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

He added that the trial was estimated to take between four and five weeks.

Judge Alistair McCreath fixed the case for November 10, 2014, ordering all four men to return to the court on January 27 for a plea and case management hearing.

All four defendants have yet to enter formal pleas.