BELLINZONA (Switzerland): German prosecutors will receive new banking documents to aid their corruption investigation of Siemens AG after Switzerland’s top criminal court cleared the transfer yesterday.
The Federal Criminal Court rejected an appeal seeking to prevent the banking information from reaching Munich prosecutors, who are examining whether embezzlement and bribes took place with Siemens contracts in Malaysia.
The investigation is part of a massive corruption scandal at the German industrial conglomerate which started unfolding in 2006.
Siemens agreed last year to pay more than US$1 billion (US$1 = RM3.44) in fines to German and US authorities, for charges including international bribery connected to contracts.
The court said US$300,000 was paid through Swiss accounts to Malaysia in 2004 and 2005, when Siemens sought to become the exclusive supplier of a mobile phone company in the South Asian country.
Some of the money may have been bribes to Malaysian police and secret service, the court said.
The Swiss launched their own investigation in 2005 to determine whether Siemens channelled money into secret accounts for bribes to secure lucrative contracts. The investigation is ongoing, said Jeanette Balmer, spokeswoman of the federal prosecutor’s office.
Over 100 million Swiss francs (US$95.5 million) in Siemens accounts in Switzerland is blocked pending the investigation, Balmer said. - AP