Norway appeals Transocean tax case verdict

Oslo battle: Steve Newman-led Transocean not off the hook yet in Norway tax case

Norway is to appeal a recent decision by an Oslo court to clear rig giant Transocean of all charges relating to a long-running tax evasion case.

A number of the Swiss-based company’s subsidiaries as well as two of three advisors previously named in the case are being targeted by the appeal by Norway’s financial crime unit Okokrim.

On 2 July the Oslo District Court cleared Transocean, two subsidiaries and three advisors of charges that they withheld an initial Nkr11.4 billion ($2 billion) from taxation, subsequently reduced to Nkr7 billion, in relation to internal rig sales at the company.

Tax authorities and Okokrim brought the case nine years ago, but Norwegian authorities were then forced to pay damages totalling more than Nkr40 million to all parties.

Okokrim said on Wednesday that it is to bring the case to the Court of Appeal, with Transocean Inc, Transocean Deepwater Drilling Company and advisor pair Einar Brask and Klaus Klausen named as defendants.

The body said questions relating to taxation remained that were not previously discussed in court, and maintained there had been errors in reporting of taxation to authorities.

Had the state won the previous case, the three advisors would have each faced prison sentences ranging between three and six years if found guilty.

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