Simmons partner appeals conspiracy charges in NY

SIMMONS & Simmons partner David Sandy is to appeal against a New York court's decision to reinstate tampering and conspiracy charges against him which a lower court had thrown out last year.

The charges, relating to the collapse of the Bank of Credit & Commerce (BCCI), were reactivated on 4 December by the New York Supreme Court's appellate division following an application by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

Sandy was originally indicted in April 1995 on counts of tampering with physical evidence and conspiracy after he had voluntarily flown out to New York to face the charges.

The Simmons & Simmons lawyer, who pleaded not guilty, was accused of concealing a computer disk and hard copy versions of the business diary of Zafar Iqbal, BCCI's former chief executive officer, while acting for its majority shareholders.

The case was thrown out by the New York State Court last year when Justice Felice Shea ruled that the attorney's office had failed to show how the evidence Sandy was alleged to have concealed would have assisted its investigation into the collapse of the bank.

But the appellate division's unanimous ruling on 4 December was that the prosecutors needed only to prove that Sandy intended to achieve a criminal purpose in their jurisdiction.

White & Case's John Wing, representing Sandy, said Sandy, who is back in London working in the Simmons' litigation department, would appeal to the New York Court of Appeal in a bid to overturn the ruling.

Wing said he believed the appellate division had made a “fairly basic” mistake, but he added that Sandy was prepared to travel to New York to attend a trial if the appeal was unsuccessful.