A Leighton Holdings executive arrested in India has been released on bail.
The chief executive of Leighton’s Indian mining subsidiary Thiess Minecs, Dr Raman Srikanth, was released on Saturday after spending eight days in prison.
The day before his arrest, Indian state owned power company NTPC cancelled Thiess’s contract to build the Pakri Barwadih coal mine – believed to be related to missed deadlines – in the latest blow to Leighton’s international operations.
Leighton will not say what the subject of the dispute is other than that it is unfounded and relates to a two-year-old complaint by Hyderabad company Roshni Developers against Dr Srikanth.
It was reported in India that he is facing charges of cheating and criminal breach of trust by not sub-contracting work to Roshni developers.
Leighton said the contract’s value is $267 million over five years and not material to its results.
NTPC has said the value is about $US3.8 billion and has called in $18.5 million in bank guarantees issued by Thiess, which the latter is taking legal action to recover.
Leighton’s international operations are the subject of an Australian Federal Police investigation into corruption as well as a possible shareholder class action lawsuit.