Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Siemens bribery scandal to cost $39.56 million – Prosecutor

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A Greek prosecutor claimed in the long trial in the Siemens cash-for-contracts scandal that the equivalent of 35 million euros ($39.56 million) in bribes were paid to get state deals to digitize the network of OTE telecom, in 1997, and related contracts.

Eleni Skeparnia said the bribes were for 69 million German Deutsche Marks were paid to various recipients for the so-called 8002 contracts to dozens of people implicated in the scandal, most Siemens or OTE executives, said Kathimerini.

The trial, going on for years, is heading toward the end but despite making the bribery claims, Skeparnia said most of the defendants should be acquitted and recommended convictions for only five executives.

The only politician found to have received money was Theodoros Tsoukatos, a one-time aide to former PASOK Socialist premier Costas Simitis, who admitted collecting 1 million marks on behalf of PASOK, an amount he described as a campaign donation.

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In October 2018, Prodromos Mavridis, former telecommunications manager for Siemens Hellas, denied in court having paid politicians from a slush fund to secure state contracts as the long-running saga of the scandal went on.

Mavridis claimed that the managing board of the parent company in Germany had tried to put the responsibility on him fund he said was in Switzerland.

He said he has been cleared in six court cases of a range of charges from bribery to breach of faith in Germany and Switzerland.

Most of his testimony was about a contract for Siemens to digitize the network of OTE telecom, the state provider, but he said the Greek company didn’t have any losses from the contract, said Kathimerini.

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The trial of dozens of suspects in the Siemens cash-for-contracts scandal has been repeatedly postponed since its launch in 2016 as OTE and the Greek state seek damages. It took 10 years to even to get to court, common in Greece

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