I see the Siemens corruption trial has got under way.
A former senior manager at Siemens on Monday admitted building up an elaborate system of slush funds and shell firms at the request of his superiors to help Europe's biggest technology group win overseas contracts through bribes.

Reinhard Siekaczek told a Munich court that he had informed his entire divisional board about the system and assumed that the whole group executive board knew about it from at least 2004.

Six of its divisions are involved in a bribery system spanning the globe that has so far cost it €1,8-billion to clear up, including a €201-million fine from another Munich court. It could result in a multibillion-dollar penalty from the United States securities and exchange commission as well as the loss of lucrative contracts.

Siekaczek, grey-haired and bespectacled and seen fidgeting nervously with a voluminous case-file, is standing trial on 58 counts of breach of trust and faces up to five years' imprisonment. He told the court that, as a trusted employee of more than 30 years, he had built the system up after a 1998 federal law proscribed bribes to win overseas contracts and that it had replaced a previous system of cash payments via accounts in Salzburg, Austria.

Altogether €53-million is said to have been paid out -- much less, according to Siekaczek, than in earlier periods.

Siekaczek claimed to have tried to reduce the level of bribes but said this was like trying to stop a high-speed train.
full story from M&G here