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Afiniti to ‘investigate issues surrounding the conduct of former CEO and chair’

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A former US assistant attorney-general has been appointed to lead inquiries into the founder of a Bermudian-based data software company accused of sexual misconduct.

Leslie R Caldwell will head the investigation into Zia Chishti, who quit his positions as chairman, chief executive officer and director of Afiniti last week.

The company announced that a special committee of the board was set up to “investigate issues surrounding the conduct of its former CEO and chair”.

A spokeswoman said: “Ms Caldwell previously served as assistant attorney-general of the United States Department of Justice’s criminal division.”

Larry Babbio, the new chairman of Afiniti, said: “As chair, my immediate priority is to keep our people safe and ensure that we continue to deliver the best possible service for our clients.

“This investigation is an important and necessary first step in building a better future for Afiniti.”

Tatiana Spottiswoode, an ex-employee at the firm, made allegations against Mr Chishti in testimony before a House of Representatives judiciary committee.

Larry Babbio, the chairman of the board at Afiniti (Photograph supplied)

She accused the 50-year-old of beating her after he allegedly pressured her into having sex with him on a work trip to Brazil in 2017.

Ms Spottiswoode also alleged he sexually harassed her.

She told the committee, set up to examine employee non-disclosure agreements, that her employment contract and a later referral to arbitration made it impossible for her to make the allegations public.

A spokesman for Afiniti, which earlier announced it wanted to employ 1,000 people on the island, denied the allegations last week and said Mr Chishti “strongly disputes all accusations against him”.

GAM, a global asset management firm and “long-term investor” in Afiniti, asked the company for "a full independent review of the allegations and associated corporate practices“.

Zia Chishti, a former CEO of Afiniti (File photograph)

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