Siemens Bribery Scandal in Greece: Ex-Boss Could Help Shed Light on Corruption
The former boss of Siemens in Greece, Michael Christoforakos, was arrested last week in Germany after going on the run. While Greece wants to see him extradited, Munich prosecutors may prefer to keep him in Germany if he agrees to spill the beans on the extent of the Siemens bribery scandal.
The former Siemens boss in Greece could shed light on the company's bribery scandal.
Christoforakos, who has dual German and Greek nationality, is one of seven former Siemens executives targeted in a Greek investigation into the awarding of a 1990s contract with the national telecommunications operator OTE.
SPIEGEL has learned from sources in the judiciary that the Munich state prosecutor's office wants to launch its own investigation into the former Siemens boss, in connection with possible bribes paid to Greek politicians to secure contracts in the run-up to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
German investigators want to uncover the full extent of the Siemens bribery affair. The company has already admitted that between 1999 and 2006 as much as 1.3 billion ($1.8 billion) was spent on dubious payments. The company is thought to have resorted to bribery after its communications division had missed a series of industry trends and suffered from a collapse in overall demand. If Christoforakas were to provide detailed testimony, it could go a long way to shedding light on the extent of the corruption in Greece.
However, there could be a hitch in his plan. The Greek authorities could offer to hand over Volker Jung -- a German former Siemens director who has been banned from leaving the country due to corruption charges -- in exchange for Christoforakos.
Daniel Peter, another of Christofarkos's lawyers, said that they would oppose any such deal. "This is not a question of secret agents who can be swapped," he told the SZ.
smd -- SPIEGEL with wire reports
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