Austrian count arrested for Saab Gripen bribes
TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 28 Feb 2009, 15:36
Published: 28 Feb 2009 15:36 GMT+01:00
Mensdorff-Pouilly is an agent for UK defence firm BAE Systems, a partner of the Swedish firm Saab.
He is also suspected of similar offences in connection with Austria's purchase of the Eurofighter, a direct competitor to the Saab Gripen.
The count was arrested on Friday in Austria and is being detained in Vienna. He is not expected to be granted bail due to the risk of him fleeing from justice and destroying evidence.
Mensdorff-Pouilly is married to the former Austrian health minister Maria Rauch-Kallat.
The news agency APA, which cites reports from news magazine Profil, reveals that the count is thought to have received 13 million euro ($16.5 million).
APA reports that that count is also suspected of forging documents in order to make the payments appear legitimate.
Mensdorff-Pouilly legal counsel confirmed that the count paid sums of money to the Czech Republic, but only to business people - not to politicians.
Swedish prosecutor Christer van der Kwast is investigating bribery in connection with the export of the Gripen aircraft.