Page last updated at 11:25 GMT, Monday, 28 July 2008 12:25 UK

Former Siemens manager convicted

Man outside Siemens office
Siemens has tried to rebuild its image but a cloud still hangs over it

An ex-manager at the German industrial giant Siemens has been convicted of corruption after admitting to setting up slush funds to pay bribes.

Reinhard Siekaczek was given a two-year suspended sentence and a 108,000 euro ($170,000; 85,000) fine for his role in illegal payments made by the firm.

A number of other ex-Siemens staff are being investigated in a wide-ranging corruption and embezzlement probe.

An estimated 1.3bn euros was siphoned into slush funds between 2000 and 2006.

Under scrutiny

Siemens agreed to pay a 210m euro fine last year to settle claims relating to alleged kickbacks and failure to make accurate tax declarations.

Mr Siekaczek was found guilty on 49 counts of breach of trust for his role in alleged illegal activity at the firm's fixed-line telephone business ICN in the first part of the decade.

During the trial in Munich, he admitted to setting up slush funds in response to orders from his superiors to help try and win foreign contracts.

Prosecutors claim that up to 53m euros was allocated in the telecoms unit for illegal financial inducements for potential customers, suppliers and government officials.

Mr Siekaczek is not the first Siemens employee to be found guilty of corruption since allegations of a web of financial malpractice first surfaced in 2006.

Last May two former employees in the firm's power generation unit were convicted of bribery and breach of trust.

Allegations of a culture of corruption in the first half of the decade have dogged the firm for nearly two years and led to the resignations of a number of senior directors.

An internal investigation by the firm - which makes products ranging from light bulbs to wind turbines - unearthed evidence of violations by company units in several countries.




SEE ALSO
Siemens fined after bribery probe
04 Oct 07 |  Business
Police launch Siemens fraud probe
15 Nov 06 |  Business
Boss to quit scandal-hit Siemens
25 Apr 07 |  Business

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