Berlin airport tech chief guilty of corruption

DPA/The Local
DPA/The Local - [email protected] • 28 Oct, 2014 Updated Tue 28 Oct 2014 08:01 CEST
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The former technical director of Berlin's failed international airport was convicted of corruption and fraud on Monday.

Jochen Großmann, who was fired in June when the allegations were made public, was given a one-year suspended prison sentence by a court in Cottbus for fraud and corruption. He was also fined €200,000. 
Großmann demanded €500,000 from a potential contractor for work on the massively overbudget and delayed Berlin Airport (BER). The work was to fix the airport's smoke extraction system - which is the main reason behind its delayed launch. 
On two other occasions Großmann defrauded the airport by overbilling them for €50,000. In two further incidents he overbilled by a total of €5,000. 
Großmann accepted the court's decision but is appealing against his dismissal. 
Großmann was initially suspended while an investigation was carried out into the allegations that he demanded a bribe from the prospective contractor.
Airport bosses were keen to stress the case was a one-off, but it is not the first corruption scandal to hit the airport.
Last April three men, including the head of the Märkische sewage association, were charged with corruption after bribes were paid by firms wanting to secure airport contracts.
The airport was supposed to open in 2012. It currently has no opening date and no final budget but has cost around €6 billion so far.
Tagesspiegel reported on Tuesday that Air Berlin CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, whose airline will be the largest to operate at the new airport, said that he doesn't expect it to open before 2017.



DPA/The Local 2014/10/28 08:01

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