ERG Holding Statement in Response to the Announcement by the SFO regarding Mr Sobotka to Appear for Questioning as a Witness
On 13 July 2018, the Serious Fraud Office (‘SFO’), the U.K. organisation that for several years has been investigating ENRC’s activities with a focus on the period related to and preceding the year 2012, has announced that it obtained an arrest warrant for ERG’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Benedikt Sobotka, over ‘his failure to appear for questioning’ as a witness.
No charges have been brought in relation to the SFO's investigation into ENRC and Mr Sobotka is not a suspect in the investigation, as made clear by the SFO’s own statement.
Mr Sobotka has never been an employee of ENRC. The period investigated by the SFO significantly predates ERG’s formation as a company and Mr Sobotka’s appointment as its Chief Executive Officer. Nevertheless, Mr Sobotka agreed to attend an interview as requested by the SFO, in his capacity as a witness.
The SFO is fully aware that it must disclose to Mr Sobotka whether he would be attending the interview in his personal capacity or as a corporate representative of ERG. Despite being asked for clarity in relation to this point on a number of occasions, the SFO has inexplicably refused to provide an answer.
The SFO knows in the event that Mr Sobotka attends as a corporate representative, he must seek the approval of ERG’s Board of Directors, as per his professional and fiduciary obligations.
Mr Sobotka remains willing to assist the SFO but the matter must be clarified.
The company fully supports Mr Sobotka and this matter has no material financial or operational impact on ERG’s business, which adheres to the highest levels of international corporate governance.
We are confident of a resolution to the matter being reached in due course.