Lawyer requests investigation into new bribe case

Lawyer Samir Sabri filed a formal complaint on Monday to Attorney-General Abdel Maguid Mahmoud requesting an investigation into claims that German company Ferrostaal had bribed Egyptian officials. The claims were based on a preliminary investigation report prepared by the German attorney-general suggesting that the Essen-based firm had used an intermediary to distribute bribe payments to Egyptian officials at a government agency in return for help in securing a deal worth 15 million euros over five years.

Judicial sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Attorney-General would examine the complaint in light of available information. They added that the Attorney-General could request results of the German investigation as soon as it was completed with a view to determining whether Egyptian officials had been involved in the incident.

Sabri also filed a lawsuit at the Administrative Court against Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif aimed at obtaining permission to disclose the identities of Egyptian officials suspected of bribe-taking. In his lawsuit, Sabri also requested that the officials in question face trial on bribery charges.

In related news, an investigation ordered by Munich’s chief prosecutor has uncovered evidence suggesting the involvement of a number of Ferrostaal officials in the bribery scandal. According to investigators, the officials in question made regular payments to government officials in Greece, Argentina, Portugal, Columbia, Indonesia and Egypt in an effort to secure lucrative deals for the company.

German sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that they could not completely rule out the possibility that the German authorities had contacted their Egyptian counterparts to obtain information about the case.  They said this was unlikely, however, as authorities had not contacted the other countries in which Ferrostaal is suspected of paying out bribes.

Meanwhile, preliminary results from an investigation conducted by Argentinean authorities have produced similar results to those of the Munich investigation, revealing that Ferrostaal officials paid bribes to local government officials. Argentina’s minister of defense raised a case against dismissed Ferrostaal CEO Matthias Mitscerlich and senior Argentinean navy officials on bribery and corruption charges.

Current Ferrostaal CEO Jan Secher, for his part, has stressed that he wants strict measures put in place to prevent the company from repeating past mistakes. Official German sources say Munich’s chief prosecutor is currently considering asking for 240 million euros in damages from Ferrostaal.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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