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Another charge in Alstom bribery case likely

A former Alstom SA official is expected in court here on Thursday to face charges of corruption and conspiring to dishonestly obtain services in relation to transportation contracts in India and Poland.



London: A former Alstom SA official is expected in court here on Thursday to face charges of corruption and conspiring to dishonestly obtain services in relation to transportation contracts in India and Poland.

The charges stem from the UK's Serious Fraud Office six-year-old bribery investigation into the French engineering company.

Graham Hill, 70, is scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London to face four charges of corruption and conspiring to dishonestly obtain services in relation to transportation contracts in India and Poland, according to a court document.

The charges relate to the SFO inquiry into alleged corruption involved in contracts for the Delhi Metro.

The SFO alleges that between 2000 and 2006, Hill "corruptly agreed to give a gift or consideration" related to contracts for the public transportation systems in Delhi and Warsaw.

"Graham Hill is resident in France and he has some health issues. The SFO has been in contact with his legal representatives about him returning to the UK voluntarily to answer the charges. If he does not return voluntarily, an extradition request will be submitted," the SFO had said in a previous statement issued last year.

Hill, a former Alstom director, denies any wrongdoing.

In October 2014, Alstom Transport India's former managing director Robert Hallett had emerged as the first person to face charges in connection with the worldwide SFO bribery investigation.

According to court documents, the SFO accuses Hallett of paying the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Euro 3.1 million and Rs 19.9 million (Euro 257,000) "as inducements or rewards for showing favour to the Alstomgroup in relation to the award or performance of a contract".

However, no individuals at Delhi Metro have been named in the document.

Alstom Network UK, the UK subsidiary of the French firm, already faces six counts of conspiracy and corruption brought by the SFO.

The agency accuses the industrial conglomerate of paying bribes to officials totalling more than Euro 6 million to secure transport contracts in New Delhi, Tunis and Warsaw via sham consultancy agreements.

A case management hearing is expected to take place at Southwark Crown Court in London on January 28.

The SFO investigation commenced as a result of information provided by the Office of the Attorney General in Switzerland concerning the Alstom Group, in particular Alstom Network UK Limited. The UK's financial watchdog had filed charges back in July.

If convicted, Alstom Network UK faces fines or a ban from competing for public contracts in the European Union. 

From Zee News

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