According to Swissinfo, the Federal criminal court of Bellinzona came to the conclusion that it is not empowered to conduct the proceedings against the top Manager of Gazprom and former Manager of the Swedish-Swiss ABB, suspected of corruption. Thus, the court took the side of protection, claiming that the Russian gas company was not a state official. This means that it does not fall under article of the Swiss penal code concerning penalties for corruption involving a foreign public servant.
Although the court recognized that the fact of a bribe took place, none of the defendants will now have to receive compensation in the amount of 160 thousand Swiss francs ($166 thousand).
Swissinfo does not name the names of the defendants, however, Forbes indicates that we are talking about the head of the Department on transportation, underground preservation, and use of gas of “Gazprom” Alexander Shaikhutdinov, and former head of the “ABB Russia” Vladimir Ushakov.
As previously reported, the investigation against the Russians is connected with the corruption case against the Swedish company Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery (SIT). Until 2003 this company was a joint “daughter” Alstom and ABB and was named Alstom Gas Turbines (after it was bought and renamed by Siemens).
In November 2013, the Swiss office of public Prosecutor has accused SIT in bribes to top-managers of one of “Russian companies” (not naming names). Bribes were allegedly given in exchange for guarantee contracts to supply gas turbines for gas pipeline Yamal — Europe. SIT during the proceedings, pleaded guilty and pledged to donate $135 thousand in favour of the International Committee of the red cross and another $10.6 million to pay as penalty. In total she was charged with having bribes in the amount of $3,79 million — about 2-3% of the contract value for the supply of compressor stations for the project.
Another defendant in the case was a former member of the Board of Gazprom Bogdan Budzulyak, but the charges were dropped earlier.