Siemens executive in corruption case 'flees Greece'

15th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Greek prosecutors believe a former executive of Germany's Siemens group accused in a massive corruption case has skipped bail and fled the country, a legal official said Monday.

They are about to file an international arrest warrant for Volker Jung, who failed to report to police on the island of Antiparos at the beginning of November, as he was required to do under bail conditions in force since 2008.

Prosecutors are trying to determine the facts behind Jung's disappearance and who was responsible.

Jung, a member of the Siemens board in Greece, is suspected of managing a slush fund for bribing Greek politicians to secure a contract with telecommunications operator OTE.

The former head of Siemens in Greece, Michalis Christoforakos, also fled the country and was arrested in Germany in June 2009 but Greek authorities failed to secure his extradition.

His deputy, Christos Karavellas, is still on the run.

Documents released in June this year showed that Athens had urged the Greek unit of Siemens to cooperate in the corruption probe, warning that the company's relations with the state were at stake.

German press reports have said the bribes paid totalled 100 million euros (140 million dollars).

In reply, Panayotis Xinis, the current head of the company, said he was prepared to cooperate fully "and in total transparency" in order to preserve the future of the group in Greece, where it is one of the leading suppliers in the telecommunication sector.

© 2010 AFP

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