Ex-Siemens director convicted in corruption scandal

Ex-Siemens director convicted in corruption scandal
Photo: DPA
In the first trial over the massive Siemens corruption scandal that came to light in November 2006, a Munich district court on Monday handed a former manager a two-year suspended sentence and hefty fines for his part in paying €53 million in bribes to land foreign contracts.

The 57-year-old defendant, former telecommunications unit director Reinhard Siekaczek, admitted to developing and administering a slush fund between 2001 and 2004. He was convicted of 49 counts of breach of trust and will pay a fine of €108,000.

“The money is gone,” said head judge Peter Noll in the court decision. “The charges have been completely confirmed,” he said, adding that the money disappeared into an “impervious company network” like a sponge.

Siekaczek’s trial is the first in an investigation that includes some 300 people over kickbacks for foreign contracts that reached into the upper ranks of the company, including the former chairman and former head of the supervisory board.

Siemens, one of Europe’s largest engineering conglomerates, estimates that up to €1.3 billion of the company’s money ended up in slush funds between 2000 and 2006.