A special review committee, created last year to investigate allegations of secret payments to foreign officials by Lockheed Aircraft Corp., has requested an extension of the March 31 deadline for reporting its findings.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed a civil injunction against Lockheed last April, is considering the committee's extension request.
The committee was created by the Lockheed board of directors as part of the settlement of the injunctive action brought by the commission.
On a separate development in the SEC's ongoing investigation of Lockheed, a federal judge yesterday ordered John H. Martin, Lockheed's chief counsel, either to testify or to offer the court a legally sufficient basis for refusing to testify.
In U.S. District Court here, Judge John Pratt ordered Martin to appear before the SEC on April 16, in Los Angeles.
Martin first appeared before the SEC. on Nov. 1, when he testified about his knowledge of payments to foreign officials, according to court documents.
Then on Jan. 18, Martin refused to answer questions or to invoke any legal reason for his refusal. On Feb. 18, Martin's lawyer argued that the commission was improperly attempting to build a criminal case and that pressure from the SEC had caused Lockheed to threaten its counsel with dismissal unless he testified.
At the time, Martin agreed to testify but he said he would be doing so "under compulsion." The SEC attorneys refused to go ahead under these circumstances. They sought a decision from the court, which is what Pratt handed down yesterday.
The SEC said it wants to learn from Martin about possible falsification of Lockheed corporate records and "disbursement of millions of dollars of Lockheed funds through conduits, nominees, and by other means to foreign government officials."
Last April, when it filed the injunction against Lockheed, the SEC alleged that, to procure and maintain business abroad, the company paid about $25 million in bribes and more than $200 million in questionable commissions to foreign agents.
The SEC allegations have triggered investigations in the Netherlands, Turkey, Italy and Japan, among other places.
The Special Review Committee is chaired by J. Wilson Newman, former chairman of Dun & Bradstreet and a Lockheed director.
The committee, which was created last February, has already been granted three extensions on its deadlines. It now says it wants to deliver the final report to the Lockheed board on May 16 instead of March 31.
After the board reviews the report, it will then be submitted to the SEC and made public.