German prosecutors believe European aerospace group EADS (EAD.PA) paid at least 50 million euros ($63.5 million) in bribes to Austrian officials to secure a $2 billion deal for Eurofighter jets, according to a document seen by Reuters.
Authorities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland raided EADS (EAD.DE) sites earlier this month in connection with investigations into suspected bribery, money-laundering and fraud related to the 2003 deal for 15 jets.
The deal depended on EADS guaranteeing offset deals meant to generate twice the value of the deal for the Austrian economy through suppliers, related services or education projects.
Austria may try to cancel its $2 billion contract to buy 15 Eurofighter jets from European aerospace group EADS or seek damages if it finds bribes were paid as part of the deal.
“It depends on the results of the Justice Ministry’s investigations. It is a possibility and we should then examine it,” Defence Minister Norbert Darabos told Austrian ORF radio.
Authorities said last week they had raided EADS sites in Austria, Germany and Switzerland as part of investigations into suspected bribery, money-laundering and fraud in connection with the 2003 deal.
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