Alstom faces possible bribery charges

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office is preparing to penalise French transport and engineering company Alstom with bribery as part of a corruption probe.

This content was published on November 18, 2011 minutes and agencies

French newspaper Le Monde reported on Friday that Alstom was suspected by Swiss authorities “to have paid, between 2003 and 2010, tens of millions of euros in bribes and kickbacks to public and foreign officials”.

The paper, which did not cite its sources, said the prosecutor’s office was “on the point” of issuing a conviction against Alstom Network Schweiz, the company’s Swiss subsidiary based in Baden in north-east Switzerland.

A spokesman for Alstom denied the allegations of corruption but refused to comment on the possibility of charges being laid by Swiss authorities.

“We absolutely contest [that there has been] a generalised system of corruption,” the spokesman said.

For several years, Swiss authorities have been investigating allegations that Alstom funnelled bribes worth SFr70 million ($76.8 million) a year through its Swiss subsidiary and hid the payments as consultancy fees.

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