Tom Enders, head of European aerospace giant EADS, has ordered an internal investigation into suspected corruption at the firm, a media report said here on Sunday.
Enders has appointed law firm Clifford Chance to look into alleged graft involving the sale of fighter jets to Austria after authorities raided several German-based sites of EADS earlier in November, newsweekly Spiegel reported.
“I want to clear up this matter as quickly as possible,” Spiegel quoted Enders as saying to close advisers on Wednesday.
“This case is harming our relations with Austria and its armed forces and if nothing else our image and credibility,” Spiegel quoted Enders as saying.
The aim of the internal probe is to obtain “a comprehensive picture of this very complex affair to be able to draw possible conclusions,” added Enders.
An investigation was already set up in 2007 to look into possible bribes surrounding the 2003 Eurofighter deal with Austria — worth around two billion euros ($ 2.6 billion) — but came to no firm conclusion.
Prosecutors in Vienna and the southern German city of Munich are now looking into allegations that EADS officials paid millions of euros via advisory firms to secure the contracts, said Spiegel.
So far, 14 people have been identified as suspects, including 10 current and former EADS employees, according to the newsweekly.