WikiLeaks: oil deal executive ‘was paid £46,000 a month’

( A British executive overseeing a lucrative oil deal was paid nearly £50,000 a month, according to cables obtained by WikiLeaks.

Mark Rollins, vice-president of BG Group in Kazakhstan, was overseeing negotiations about selling a stake in an oil field to Kazmunaigaz, the state-owned oil company.

In January the US ambassador in Kazakhstan had dinner with Maksat Idenov, former vice-president of Kazmunaigaz. As he arrived at the restaurant in Astana, the capital, Mr Idenov was apparently finishing a call to Mr Rollins.

According to the ambassador, he was angry because Mr Rollins had failed to deliver a letter about arbitration of the oil field to the energy minister.

The cable states: “When the Ambassador arrived, Idenov was barking into his cell phone, ‘Mark, Mark, stop the excuses! Mark, listen to me! Mark, shut up right now and do as I say! Bring the letter to my office at 10pm’.”

Mr Idenov was then alleged to have told the minister: “I tell him Mark, stop being an idiot. Stop tempting fate! Do you know how much he makes? $72,000 [£46,000 ] a month! A month!! Plus benefits! Plus bonuses! Lives in Switzerland but supposedly works in London. Comes here once a month to check in. Nice life, huh?” The deal to sell a stake in the Karachaganak oil field has still not gone through.

A BG spokesman said: “We do not comment on leaks and speculation.”

By Steven Swinford



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  1. ( WikiLeaks fights to keep Twitter data from U.S. government

    An Icelandic lawmaker and two other people associated with the website WikiLeaks are asking a federal judge not to force the social networking site Twitter to turn over data about whom they communicate with online.

    The dispute cuts to the core of the question of whether WikiLeaks allies are part of a criminal conspiracy or a political discussion. It also challenges the Obama administration’s argument that it can demand to see computer data and read months’ worth of private messages, even if they have nothing to do with WikiLeaks.

    In court documents unsealed Tuesday, the three challenged a Dec. 14 court order forcing Twitter to tell the government the names of those they talk to privately and who follow their posts.

    The information would allow the government to map out their entire audience and figure out where each person was when he logged on to Twitter, attorneys said, amounting to an intrusion on the First Amendment constitutional guarantee of free speech.

    The documents echo the international debate WikiLeaks sparked when it began revealing a trove of sensitive military and diplomatic documents.

    The U.S. is investigating whether WikiLeaks should be held responsible for leaking classified information, even though it was not the original leaker. Defence attorneys say it’s a question of political discussion, arguing that Twitter communication about WikiLeaks is protected speech.

    “The First Amendment guarantees their right to speak up and freely associate with even unpopular people and causes,” attorneys wrote.

    Aiden Fine, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said lawyers believe the government has also demanded similar information from other social networking sites and have asked a judge to make them public. Doing so would provide a rare glimpse at how widely the Obama administration believes it may trawl such sites for information.

    The documents were filed by a member of Iceland’s parliament and a former WikiLeaks activist, Birgitta Jonsdottir, as well as two computer programmers, Rop Gonggrijp and Jacob Appelbaum.

    Attorneys said the demand for documents related to Jonsdottir raise their own unique concerns because she is a member of a foreign government. She uses her Twitter account primarily to discuss Icelandic issues, attorneys said, so the Justice Department’s demand raises the possibility that foreign governments might make similar demands on members of Congress.

    An email seeking Justice Department comment was not immediately returned Tuesday.


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