Air­bus faces lengthy probe

Times of Oman - - MARKET -

PARIS/LON­DON: Air­bus faces years of in­ves­ti­ga­tion by French and UK au­thor­i­ties into al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion over jet sales, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the case said on Fri­day, play­ing down a news­pa­per re­port of a po­ten­tially rapid set­tle­ment.

The Lon­don-based Evening Stan­dard re­ported Bri­tish and French prose­cu­tors met last month to dis­cuss the terms of a set­tle­ment deal known as a De­ferred Pros­e­cu­tion Agree­ment (DPA) fol­low­ing a probe into the use of mid­dle­men to sell jet­lin­ers.

That could re­sult in a “1 bil­lion pound-plus” fine, the re­port said, but ex­perts said it was pre­ma­ture to talk about a set­tle­ment in an in­quiry widely ex­pected to drag on for years.

The re­port quoted a source close to Bri­tain’s Se­ri­ous Fraud Of­fice (SFO) as say­ing SFO head David Green hoped to agree a DPA with Air­bus be­fore leav­ing in April next year. The SFO and Air­bus de­clined to com­ment on the re­port which comes as ques­tions hover over the SFO’s fu­ture, fol­low­ing pro­pos­als to fold it into another crime agency.

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