France-Airbus ready to pay a fine of EUR15.9 mls to avoid prosecution for corruption

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Airbus and the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) said on Wednesday French justice had reached an agreement to avoid the European aircraft manufacturer from possible criminal proceedings for suspicions of corruption in Libya and Kazakhstan, in return for a fine of 15, 9 million euros.

This Judicial Convention of Public Interest (CJIP) and the amount of the fine must still be validated by the Paris Criminal Court.

This agreement between Airbus and the PNF comes in addition to another CJIP concluded in January 2020 to end an investigation in France, the United States and Great Britain into acts of bribery of foreign public officials and corruption committed between 2004 and 2016 in fifteen countries, the occasion of contracts for the sale of civil aircraft and satellites entered into by entities of the Airbus group.

The investigation concluded with a record fine of 2.083 billion euros in France and 1.5 billion euros in Great Britain and the United States.

In court on Wednesday, the PNF said the « record amount of the fine » in 2020 had « fully and completely satisfied the public interest » and said it had seen a « profound internal transformation of Airbus since » that date.

Airbus and the PNF had confirmed at the end of October that they were negotiating a new agreement concerning « facts which are an extension of those which gave rise to the CJIP concluded in January 2020, but which could not then be strokes simultaneously », according to the PNF.

The Mediapart news site reported last May that the courts were particularly interested in the sale of twelve Airbus aircraft to Libya in 2006, as part of the judicial investigation opened in 2013 into the presumed Libyan financing of the victorious presidential campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007. (Report Juliette Jabkhiro, written by Myriam Rivet, Tangi Salan and Jean-Stphane Brosse, told by Blandine Hnault)

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