Costa Rica: ICE Objects to Settlement Between Alcatel and the U.S.

ICE claims that Alcatel attempted to bribe them in order to be awarded contracts, the Justice Department thinks otherwise.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The trial undertaken by the U.S. Government against the French company Alcatel, for alleged bribes to obtain contracts abroad, especially in Costa Rica, could end in an settlement between the Department of Justice and Alcatel, who would have to pay compensation of $137 million for the damage .

However, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), who is involved in the trial for allegedly receiving bribes from executives of Alcatel, objects to the plea deal, alleging that the institution was the victim in the process.

The United States Justice Department does not agree. They assert that the ICE was complicit in corruption, because company executives requested money from Alcatel in exchange for granting contracts.

The district judge overseeing the case, Marcia Cooke set a date of June 1 to complete the presentation of facts and finalise pleas. It is expected that the ICE will present their arguments for the $400 million claim for having been, according to them, alleged victims of corruption.

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More on this topic

ICE Files Complaint Against Lucent in Florida, U.S.

May 2010

El Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Costa Rica's telecommunications and electricity provider, filed a complaint in Miami, Florida, against Alcatel Lucent S.A. and other related parties.

The complaint asserts claims for violations of civil racketeering and other laws of Florida in connection with Alcatel Lucent's bribery and corruption of Costa Rican officials to secure telecommunications contracts with ICE.

Alcatel Pays $137 Million For Bribes in Costa Rica

February 2010

To avoid prosecution in the United States for bribes paid in Costa Rica, Taiwan and Kenya, Alcatel-Lucent agreed to pay $137.4 million.

The Department of Justice of the United States will defer prosecution of Alcatel on charges it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and must enter a three-year probation period monitored by a French anti corruption monitor.

Costa Rica Settles Dispute with Alcatel For $10 Million

January 2010

The agreement includes the acknowledgment on behalf of Alcatel of having bribed Costa Rican public officials.

The fact that the French company acknowledged paying bribes will certainly affect the trial currently underway against several public officials, among them ex President Miguel Ángel Rodríguez.

Alcatel to appeal 76-million-dollar fine

June 2008

The Costa Rica Electricity Institute (ICE) is claiming 76 million dollars from the French company Alcatel for damages and harm caused by the poor quality of a 400,000-line cellular telephone network.

ICE has also broken the operating and maintenance contract that it signed with the company in December 2002.