CPDM Crime Syndicate: Spain court absolves arms firm of graft over contracts with Biya regime 0

A Spanish court on Tuesday absolved defunct state-owned arms company Defex of graft charges related to contracts to provide material to Cameroon.

Defex was accused of using a complex bribery and embezzlement system to secure the contracts in the Central African country between 2005 and 2013.

Spain’s National Court, which deals with major criminal cases, said it found evidence that Defex paid for gifts such as trips and cosmetic surgery to Cameroon officials to secure the contracts.

But it said this happened before Spain’s criminal code was reformed in 2015 to extend criminal responsibility to state companies like Defex, so its ruling “must be to absolve”.

The court, however, sentenced Defex’s former commercial director to a two-year jail sentence for corruption.

Public prosecutors had sought a 23-year jail sentence, but the court absolved him of the charges of forgery, money laundering and embezzlement of public funds.

It said the money which was allegedly embezzled did not belong to Defex, but was from a private bank which financed the projects in Cameroon.

The National Court is investigating two other suspected cases of corruption involving the sale of weapons and military equipment by Defex to the governments of Angola and Saudi Arabia.

Defex was founded in 1972 by the Spanish state to help export products made by the country’s defence industry. It was dissolved in 2017 as a result of the scandal.

Source: AFP