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Swedish court acquits Russian in Bombardier bribe trial

A Russian employee of Bombardier accused of aggravated bribery was acquitted Wednesday when the District Court in Stockholm ruled the charges couldn’t be proved.

Evgeny Pavlov worked for Bombardier Transportation Sweden AB.

He was on trial for bribing a government official in Azerbaijan to win a $340 million contract for a new train signaling system.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montréal, Canada. It produces aircraft and train equipment.

Pavlov, 37, was facing a six-year jail sentence and deportation if convicted.

But the court said, “The prosecutors have not proved that the charged person has promised or offered an inappropriate benefit.”  

Pavlov had been released from custody on October 4 based on the court’s preliminary findings.

Bombardier’s Stockholm-based train division won the Azerbaijan contract in 2013.

report in March this year by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) alleged that Bombardier Sweden sold the equipment to a UK-based intermediary called Multiserv Overseas.

Multiserve then sold the same equipment to Bombardier’s Azerbaijan affiliate for an inflated price, the OCCRP said.

The intermediary allegedly made a profit of $85.8 million in the deal.

“The money was then channeled offshore,” the OCCRP said.

Export records showed deliveries of the equipment directly from Bombardier Sweden to Azerbaijan and not to Multiserv, according to the report.

Pavlov’s LinkedIn profile listed him as a Bombardier sales executive.

His lawyer, Cristina Bergner, told Reuters that her client was too junior within the company to collude with Azerbaijani officials about winning the contract.

Reuters reported that the Swedish prosecutor, Thomas Forsberg, said last week a preliminary investigation into higher-ranking employees at Bombardier was going ahead.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. 

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