Sent in by Olle Johansson
The New Zealand Herald
US regulators are investigating an Austrian lobbyist and US telecom maker Motorola over alleged bribes of up to 2.2 million euros (NZ$3.68m), Austrian weekly Profil revealed at the weekend. From April 2004 onwards, Motorola apparently transferred up to 2.2 million euros to three firms controlled by lobbyist Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly, Profil said in a summary of a report to be published on Monday, local time.
Mensdorff-Pouilly then used this money to make “illegal payments” to key political figures in Europe and the Middle East, it said. The US Securities and Exchange Commission had evidence that “people in office” were bribed with presents and holidays, and has now launched a probe against Mensdorff-Pouilly and Motorola, Profil added.
The news magazine already reported last week on an alleged contract between the lobbyist and the US telecom company over a digital radio project by the Austrian government. Mensdorff-Pouilly allegedly helped secure the project for a consortium including Motorola and Telekom Austria, gaining up to 2.6 million euros in the process, according to Profil. Telekom Austria is itself facing a wave of corruption claims that emerged in recent weeks, and on Friday announced an external probe by international experts into the allegations.
Mensdorff-Pouilly himself is no stranger to corruption claims. In January 2010, he was charged in Britain with bribing European officials to secure fighter jet contracts for defence giant BAE Systems. The charges were eventually dropped.
And another, via industry news portal:
Austrian police network tender possibly influenced – report
Monday 29 August 2011 | 17:00 CET
New allegations have emerged in the corruption scandal surrounding Telekom Austria. A report in the magazine Profil, carried by Austrian news agency APA, said lobbyist Alfons Mensdorff Pouilly has been accused of receiving EUR 3.7 million in illegal payments for services provided in the tender for the police’s digital radio network in 2004. All the major political parties have called for a parliamentary investigation into the accusations, while the governing OVP was more cautious, saying only it expects a full explanation. The accusation is that Mensdorf-Pouilly received EUR 1.1 million from Telekom Austria and up to EUR 2.6 million from Motorola, which partnered with Alcatel in the Tetron consortium to bid for the contact to build the police network. The Tetron consortium won the contract in a second tender, after the then minister for interior, Ernst Stasser (OVP), took the contract away from the original winner, the Mastertalk consortium, which included Siemens, RZB, Verbund and Wr. Stadtwerke. Telekom Austria was responsible for delivering the infrastructure to the consortium. Mensdorff-Pouilly reacted through his lawyer, saying that the EUR 1.1 million received from Telekom Austria was completely legal for services rendered and can be found in his administration and financial figures for the concerned period.
And here’s a 3 minute video by an undercover journalist exposing MEP Ernst Strasser (implicated in TETRA bribe scandal) as a lobbyist.