United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
582 F. Supp. 2d 535 (2008)
Frederic Bourke (defendant) was charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for making payments to Azerbaijan officials in order to have a state-owned oil company privatized. Azeri law criminalized the bribing of officials but relieved a person of criminal liability if the bribe was reported by the person making it or if the official extorted the bribe. The FCPA included an affirmative defense for payments that were legal under the laws of the country where made. Bourke asked for a jury instruction on the affirmative defense, because he was relieved of liability under the Azeri law on the ground that he was extorted into making the payment. The United States (plaintiff) argued the instruction should not be included, because the payment was illegal under Azeri law.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Scheindlin, J.)
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