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Bribery Charges Raised against Four in Alstom Case

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.04.10.

Public investigation prosecutors have raised charges against four men, including a senior Alstom official, for bribery in a case involving a 2005 public procurement for the purchase of metro trains which was won by a consortium led by the French company.

The Alstom official is charged with bribery in the range of millions of euros in the case involving Budapest transport company BKV purchasing trains for the M2 and M4 metro lines, according to a statement on Wednesday by public investigations prosecutor Imre Keresztes.

To make the payments in 2007 and 2009, Alstom signed three fictitious advisory contracts with Danish and Austrian companies that assisted in transferring payments totalling 8,463,643 euros, Keresztes said.

Alstom Reportedly Paid €597K To Consulting Firm Linked To Hungary’s Former Socialist Prime Minister

The prosecutor’s office interviewed six suspects. The procedure was dropped in the case of two people and charges were raised against four, including two Hungarian citizens, one Austrian and one American, the statement added.

The investigation was ordered in January 2011 and was initially carried out by the rapid-response police national bureau of investigation, but the chief public prosecutor’s office transferred it to the public investigation prosecutors in September 2016.

No Evidence Found in Alstom Bribes

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) started an investigation in February 2012 and submitted its recommendation to the chief public prosecutor in November 2016, partly based on the findings in the case under way in Hungary.

The public investigation prosecutors said in March this year that the number of suspects had been raised to six but did not include public figures.

Another investigation is under way connected to the metro 4 project, involving alleged mismanagement related to construction and advisory contracts and project management. The investigation was ordered in January 2017, but the Alstom case was separated from it. According to information released by the public prosecutor’s office in March, nobody had been interviewed yet in this case.