POLITICS

Stefan Zoller, ex-EADS head, charged

Former EADS Germany manager Stefan Zoller has been charged in the case regarding the offering of bribe in return for contracts in Romania and Saudi Arabia, sources quoted by ‘Der Spiegel’ say.

EADS Germany manager until 2012, Stefan Zoller is one of the persons charged in the corruption case involving Airbus Group concern (former EADS), ‘Der Spiegel’ reports quoting unnamed sources.

The judicial case is for the payment of bribe for obtaining two border security system contracts in Romania and Saudi Arabia. Enquired by ‘Der Spiegel’, Zoller denied knowing about the alleged bribe, noting that, as former head of EADS Germany, ‘he has all the interest in that the case is solved’.

The German publication notes that the information has not been confirmed by the Munich Prosecutor’s Office where the case is being dealt with. Last week, Munich prosecutors organised searches at the Airbus concern in the case regarding the bribe paid for contracts abroad and tax evasion last week.

Several searches were also conducted at the headquarters and subsidiaries of Airbus Defence und Space GmbH in Munich, Ingolstadt, Ulm and Friedrichshafen in October. Following those searches, Airbus Defence und Space launched an internal probe, according to AFP.

‘We have launched an internal probe’, a spokesperson for Airbus Defence und Space told AFP on 4 December.

At the same time, the Prosecutor’s Office of Munich conformed to AFP the existing corruption suspicions regarding agreements with Saudi Arabia and Romania. ‘Less than ten persons are targeted by the investigation’, the Prosecutor’s Office noted, without conforming the value of incriminated contracts.

According to information published by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” on 3 December, EADS reportedly paid bribe in order to be awarded contracts in Romania and Saudi Arabia. The Airbus Group Defence division, at the time EADS, in 2009 obtained a contract worth approximately EUR 2 bn from Saudi Arabia, for the provision of protection grids and state-of-the-art surveillance equipment for its nearly 9,000 km of borderline, “Süddeutsche Zeitung” was also stating.

‘Der Spiegel’ notes that, in Romania’s case, the 2004 contract worth hundreds of millions of euro is also being investigated by the anti-corruption authorities in Bucharest. The bribe was allegedly paid via two Bucharest-based consultancies and several politicians are reportedly involved, the German publication also says.

 

 

 

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