• Germany's news in English

Greece chases 'corrupt' Siemens executives

The Local · 30 Oct 2012, 12:41

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

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.

Story continues below…

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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

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

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
Paris climate conference
Germans reluctant to go green, survey finds
This NASA handout shows CO2 release based on real emissions data. Photo: DPA

Germans reluctant to go green, survey finds

31 minutes ago

Most Germans might see climate change as a threat - but that doesn't mean they're willing to change their behaviour, according to a recent YouGov survey.

The Local List
The 10 greatest German Alpine ski resorts
Skiing in the Allgäu. Photo: DPA

The 10 greatest German Alpine ski resorts

1 hour ago

This ski season looks set to be epic, with runs already open before December has even started - boding well for the rest of the season. We bring you the ten very best German resorts so you can make the most of it.

Bavaria accused of hoarding Nazi-looted art
Max Beckmann paintings in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. File Photo: DPA

Bavaria accused of hoarding Nazi-looted art

5 hours ago

A group of US Congressmen have sent a letter to Bavarian Minister President Horst Seehofer, urging him to do more to help return art stolen by the Nazis to its rightful owners.

Berlin suspects freed hours after terror raids
Police stand guard as colleagues search a van in Britz, south Berlin, on Thursday evening. Photo: DPA

Berlin suspects freed hours after terror raids

5 hours ago

Three suspects arrested in Berlin on Thursday night on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack were freed on Friday morning, police said.

Cologne fights drunks with walls that 'pee back'
"Don't pee here! The wall pees back!" warns a new sign in Cologne main station. Photo: DPA

Cologne fights drunks with walls that 'pee back'

5 hours ago

In Germany, those who urinate in public places have their own name: "Wildpinkler" or "free pee-ers." But they're about to face a backlash in Cologne - in a very literal and embarrassing way.

Final days of Hamburg Olympic vote battle
Demonstrators against the Olympic bid. Photo: DPA

Final days of Hamburg Olympic vote battle

8 hours ago

The finishing line is in sight. On Sunday Hamburgers vote on whether they want the 2022 Olympics to come to town and the result could be tight.

Two men arrested in Berlin police terror raids
A Berlin SEK (SWAT) officer during a deployment in June 2015. Photo: DPA

Two men arrested in Berlin police terror raids

23 hours ago

Police arrested two men after raids at two Berlin locations on Thursday afternoon after tip-offs about known Islamists believed to pose a threat of violence.

Swimmer faces probe over Auschwitz tattoo
Rails run towards the entrance of the extermination camp at Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

Swimmer faces probe over Auschwitz tattoo

1 day ago

Prosecutors are investigating a man who appeared at a swimming pool on the outskirts of Berlin with a tattoo depicting a concentration camp and an infamous slogan used by the Nazis across his back.

Munich Jews feud over Holocaust remembrance
Stolpersteine. Photo: DPA

Munich Jews feud over Holocaust remembrance

1 day ago

A bitter fight has broken out in Munich’s Jewish community over how to remember the victims of the Holocaust, with one group now taking the city to court.

Fight against Isis
German air force will join French planes over Syria
A Bundeswehr (German army) Tornado aircraft taking off from the Jagel airbase in Schleswig-Holstein in 2013. Photo: DPA

German air force will join French planes over Syria

1 day ago

Update: A Leading German MP confirmed that the country will offer military aid to France in the fight against Isis in Syria, following a promise by Chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to Paris on Wednesday.

Germany's 10 most-expensive cities
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
German ISS astronaut tells kids to follow their dreams
Sponsored Article
Why family companies need free trade and TTIP
90 percent of Germans want tougher security
Sponsored Article
'Innovative companies like Hövding benefit most from TTIP'
Are you living in Germany's most expensive city?
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Should singer accused of homophobia represent Germany at Eurovision?
70 years since the Nuremberg Trials
The German connection in the Paris attacks
Snow expected on 'first weekend of winter'
10 years of Angela Merkel in Berlin
Could soldiers soon be patrolling German streets?
Second German Paris victim was teacher and journalist
'We can't beat Isis with military means'
How will Germany help France fight Isis?
One German confirmed dead in Paris attacks
'Don't take Paris out on refugees': German defence minister
Germany's minute of silence for Paris victims
Nightclub bans refugees for harassing women
OPINION: Refugees must learn to respect German values
The ancient German community at the heart of Texas
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd