• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

Greece chases 'corrupt' Siemens executives

The Local · 30 Oct 2012, 12:41

Published: 30 Oct 2012 12:41 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Greek judiciary is pursuing the executives of the German technology giant - including former CEO Heinrich von Pierer - on charges of bribing Greek politicians and public officials to win lucrative contracts.

But since the cases have already been dealt with by German courts - either through convictions or settlements - the executives say that an international arrest warrant would impinge on their human rights, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Should warrants be issued, some of the men are planning to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, one of the execs told the paper anonymously.

The case is a reminder of that of former Siemens board chairman Volker Jung, who was detained in Greece in June 2009, and forced to stay in the country for over a year while corruption charges were investigated. When Jung finally returned to Germany, an international arrest warrant was issued.

Though German authorities refused to deport him because he had been cleared of the charges by German state prosecutors, any other European country would be bound to arrest him and send him to Greece if he travelled there, leaving him unable to travel.

A similar fate now faces his former colleagues. Most of the 11 executives have faced a German court and been sentenced. Others, like Jung and Pierer, have paid fines without admitting any guilt, and their cases are considered closed.

One of the executives told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that their appeal to Strasbourg would be based on the legal principle that someone cannot be tried twice for the same crime.

The Greek judiciary is under pressure to deal with such cases, since the crisis-hit country reportedly loses millions of euros of tax revenue every year through corruption. But the Siemens executives argue that such cases could harm the country in the long run, as it will discourage investors.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Your comments about this article

14:28 October 30, 2012 by raandy
Settling the court issues for Germany is not the same as settling the issues in Greece.

The point of double jeopardy really does not apply more like dual sovereignty which should win out.
14:50 October 30, 2012 by lucksi
If I speed in Belgium (or any other country with higher fines than here) and I would have to pay 2000 Euros there, I can not get out of it by paying 100 Euros here.

If you break the law in another country, you should be tried there. Simple as that.
15:20 October 30, 2012 by catjones
Another example of german third-world corruption.
15:58 October 30, 2012 by tedesco
They could take the opportunity and chase greek corrupts and tax evaders.

But they're too busy hunting journalists.
18:40 October 30, 2012 by smart2012
I think they are correct. If Greece is in this financial situation is also thanks to big contracts signed recently with German companies, contracts which were pushed by Frau Verkel (and not to forget the Greek money lost by Deutsche bank in the 2008 US bubble)...

And if someone corrupted Greek officials in Greece, they should be judged in Greece... BTW, I understood from BILD that in Germany there is no corruption.... :-)
19:49 October 30, 2012 by pjnt
Corporations bribing governments happens everywhere. Businesses that do not, do not get contracts and can not compete. Either everyone stops or everyone goes.

I think the Greeks should prosecute these guys. I also think they should shackle their own who accept them. Bribery is a two way street and Greek polititions who pocket bribes should be striped of office, bribe confiscated and a view through bars as a bonus.
21:01 October 30, 2012 by PNWDev
@smartguy

Oh this is great, smartguys normal rant is to tell the rest of us to stop reading BILD. Yet here he acknowledges he reads BILD. I knew he had a subscription.

Smarguy, you are still the most entertaining poster on the Local.
22:20 October 30, 2012 by smart2012
Pnwdev, I do not read Bild, I just look the naked girls it publishes.. By keeping defending it and Verkel, u r the funny one :)
06:02 October 31, 2012 by Daktari
Greece is just trying to do anything they can to make Germany/Germans look bad. Seems like they can only find the Siemens execs that offered bribes. No prosecution for Greek Politicians?

Look, Greece was living large, spending money they didn't have and NOW they have to pay the bill, or find someone else to pay it.

The Germans will eventually wake up to all of this, and stop paying for Europe. Hopefully, it will be before they have no money left to pay.
08:36 October 31, 2012 by pjnt
@Daktari

What you're missing though is that Greeks are spending money on cheap German stuff. They lower the value of the euro, German cars cost less, Greeks buy it with German lent money.

There are 2 sides to this story. Germany is fleecing the poor EU countries while the poor spend money they borrow.
Today's headlines
Germany bucks global trend, sells more weapons
A Puma tank used by the German military. Photo: DPA.

Weapons sales around the world decreased last year, despite various ongoing military conflicts. But major German firms actually greatly increased their sales at the same time.

Teen's murder-rape arrest reignites refugee debate
Flowers and candles set up in Freiburg to honour the student found dead. Photo: DPA.

The German government pleaded for calm on Monday after the arrest of a teenage Afghan asylum seeker for the alleged rape and murder of a German student triggered fresh criticism of the country's liberal refugee policy.

China criticizes US for blocking sale of German firm
Aixtron's headquarter in Herzogenrath in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

The US is reportedly worried that China could use the firm's technology in its nuclear programme.

Germany should deport sick refugees: Merkel party mate
Rejected asylum seekers in Leipzig being taken to the airport. Photo: DPA.

A top member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party on Monday defended his proposal for Germany to deport sick refugees after receiving harsh criticism.

Rail worker jailed over train crash that killed 12
Rescue workers at the scene of the crash. Photo: DPA

A German rail dispatcher who admitted that his negligence caused a train crash that killed 12 people has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Why Germany is worried by Italy's referendum result
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after a crushing referendum defeat on Sunday. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel lost a key ally on Sunday night.

These are Berlin's seven most exquisite restaurants
Two-star chef Tim Raue. Photo: DPA.

The capital city still hasn't managed to snag three stars in the new 2017 Michelin guide released on Thursday, but it still boasts seven two-star eateries. Here's a look at what they have to offer.

Austrian vote a 'good omen for Europe': German minister
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday said that the far-right defeat in Austria's presidential election was "a good omen" for Europe.

VW bosses forced to pay back private jet costs

Bosses at troubled German auto giant Volkswagen have been forced to pay the company back millions of euros for flights on its private jets, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday.

Germany arrests Marxist militant 'leader'
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / DPA / AFP file picture

A radical Marxist suspected of belonging to a left-wing extremist group accused of terrorism by Turkey has been arrested in Germany, judicial sources said on Saturday.

Lifestyle
Nobody does Christmas quite like the Germans.
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
6,552
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd