Nigeria May Drop Bribery Charges Against US Ex-VP
Nigeria May Drop Bribery Charges Against US Ex-VP

Nigeria's anti-corruption agency has filed charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in connection with an alleged bribery scandal involving the energy firm Halliburton.

Prosecutors filed a 16-count charge against Cheney and several other former and current Halliburton executives Tuesday at a federal high court in Abuja.

Officials say the executives are charged with conspiracy, and, in the words of a court document, "giving gratification to public officials."

The charges stem from accusations that oil service firm Halliburton and its subsidiary, KBR, paid bribes of more than $180 million between 1995 and 2005 to win contracts to build natural gas facilities in Nigeria.

The French news agency reports that Halliburton has denied involvement in the case, and that a Cheney spokesman says the accusations are baseless.

Cheney was president of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000, before becoming vice president in the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush.

Last year, KBR paid fines of $577 million to the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Security and Exchange Commission on separate charges related to the scandal.