COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Swedish prosecutors on Wednesday appealed the acquittal of a Russian employee of Bombardier, a Canadian plane and train maker, who was accused of aggravated bribery in one of Sweden’s biggest corruption cases.
A Stockholm court ruled Oct. 11 “it could not be proven” that Evgeny Pavlov “has promised or offered an unfair advantage,” saying it is a prerequisite for the existence of a bribe.
Pavlov was accused of bribery to win a contract for a signaling system with a contract value of around $340 million. In 2013, Bombardier was part of a consortium winning a contract with Azerbaijan Railways for equipment on a 500-kilometer (300-mile) track.
Prosecutor Thomas Forsberg said Wednesday that “the key issue … is whether the benefit can be considered unfair or not.”
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Forsberg and fellow prosecutor Staffan Edlund noted the benefit to an unnamed public servant with the Azerbaijan Railway Authority consisted of expected earnings of $100 million “with accompanying profitability to a private company, to which the civil servant had a connection.”
“The assessment should be whether the benefit objectively has had the potential to affect the performance of the employee’s work or if it can be perceived as a reward for the performance of his duties,” Forsberg said.
Pavlov was released ahead of the Oct. 4 acquittal after seven months in jail. He had been arrested in March and ordered held in pre-trial custody to prevent him from fleeing or tampering with evidence. Emails seized in October 2016 during a search of Bombardier offices in Sweden were evidence in the case.
Swedish news agency TT and broadcaster SVT said their investigation showed Bombardier had sold the signal system via a British-based company named Multiserv Overseasadded, which then sold the identical equipment back to Bombardier’s Azerbaijan affiliate for an inflated price.
No date for an appeals trial was immediately announced.