Bombardier employee in Swedish unit charged with bribery

A Russian employee in the Swedish branch of Canadian plane and train maker Bombardier was charged Friday with aggravated bribery and faces up to six years in jail and deportation if found guilty.

Swedish prosecutor Thomas Forsberg alleges Evgeny Pavlov bribed a public servant in Azerbaijan to win a $340-million contract for a new signalling system.

Most of the funding for the project comes from the World Bank, which is conducting an audit on the project.

Pavlov, a Bombardier Transportation Sweden AB employee who is on paid leave, was held in March in pre-trial custody to prevent him from fleeing or tampering with evidence.

Emails seized during a search of Bombardier’s offices in Sweden in October 2016 are evidence in the case.

In a statement, Bombardier said Friday, “We take these allegations very seriously as they assert conduct that does not reflect our values or the high standards we set for ourselves, our employees and our partners.”

The Montreal-based company said it is reviewing the legal filings and supports a complete accounting of the facts and circumstances surrounding the project.

Forsberg alleges the Azerbaijani officials received rewards for having favoured the Bombardier contract.

He added more employees with the Swedish branch of Bombardier were still being investigated in relation to the same case.

In 2013, Bombardier was part of a consortium awarded a $288-million contract to supply signalling equipment for a 503-kilometre track along a corridor connecting Asia and Europe to Azerbaijan Railways. Bombardier said then it was its “first major signalling contract in Azerbaijan.”

Pavlov’s lawyer, Cristina Berger, has previously said that her client claims he is innocent.

A trial date has not been set.

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