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February 14, 2018

Investigation against Airbus over Austria’s Eurofighter aircraft sale terminated

Staatsanwaltschaft München I, the Munich Public Prosecutor’s office, has terminated its investigation into the sale of the Eurofighter aircraft by Airbus Defence and Space to the Republic of Austria in 2003.

Staatsanwaltschaft München I, the Munich Public Prosecutor’s office, has terminated its investigation into the sale of the Eurofighter aircraft by Airbus Defence and Space to the Republic of Austria in 2003.

The investigation, which had been carried out since 2012, ‘did not confirm the allegations of bribery’.

In 2003, Austria acquired 15 Eurofighter jets for approximately €2bn from Airbus.

Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil claimed that the deal had caused damages for the country amounting to €1.1bn, reported Reuters.

The defence ministry accused Airbus and Eurofighter of providing misleading information about the purchase price, supply, and specifications of the aircraft.

“Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil claimed that the deal had caused damages for the country amounting to €1.1bn.”

However, an administrative penalty notice has been issued against Airbus Defence and Space based on alleged breach of supervisory duties of non-identified members of the company’s former management.

The notice also alleged that certain former management of the firm negligently failed to ensure proper internal controls that would not have allowed employees to make payments to business partners without proven documented services in exchange.

The company has accepted the notice and agreed to pay the total fine of €81.25m, which comprises an administrative fine of €250,000 and a disgorgement of €81m.

The firm is reported to have fully cooperated with the Munich Public Prosecutor since the start of the investigation that included the provision of an independent fact-finding report of the UK-based law firm Clifford Chance, which Airbus shared with the Munich Public Prosecutor in 2014.

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