Former Siemens boss Pierer linked to illicit payments: reports

April 19th, 2008 - 4:42 pm ICT by admin  

DPA
Berlin, April 19 (DPA) A senior manager at German electrical engineering concern Siemens has linked former chief Heinrich von Pierer to suspicious payments in connection with a large government project in Argentina, German media reports said Saturday. The reports, in the Munich-based daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and the online service of Der Spiegel news magazine, put the payments at $10 million.

According to Der Spiegel, the payments were linked to a billion-dollar contract to provide the Argentinean interior ministry with technology related to electronic identity documents under the administration of former president Carlos Menem.

The contract was cancelled in 1999, and the payments - made to a Swiss consultancy in 2002-03 - were reported to be linked to attempts to revive it.

Pierer, who has always denied any wrongdoing in the long-running Siemens corruption saga, is said to have brushed aside reservations expressed by managers.

On Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was dispensing with Pierer’s services as technology adviser.

Merkel told national public broadcaster ZDF she was instead relying on a technical academy in Munich and the German Academy of Science in Halle, eastern Germany.

Under growing pressure as a result of the scandal involving millions in illicit payments to secure large contracts abroad, Pierer resigned as the head of the Munich-based concern in April 2007. Both German and US financial authorities are looking into the affair.
DPA

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