US maintains silence on Egypt official involved in Mercedes bribery

US financial bodies have refused to divulge the name of the Egyptian official allegedly involved in the Mercedes Benz bribery case. The refusal marks the continuation of a policy of silence on the matter that has been in place for over a year.

The charge, which was deliberated by the Colombia Court in the US, stated that Daimler-Benz, a German car manufacturer, had twice approved the payment of bribes to a high-ranking Egyptian official between 1998 and 2004.

According to the allegations, the first bribe was DM1.1 million, while the second was 322,000 Euros (LE2.5 million), in return for facilitating an increase of company sales in Egypt.

In response to a request from Al-Masry Al-Youm, the US Security and Trade Commission sent a message that it called “final.” It said that divulging the official’s identity would violate the person’s right to privacy as stipulated by the US constitution and could pose a threat to the person’s life.

Al-Masry Al-Youm on 17 May, 2010 had submitted requests to the commission and to the US Justice Department, asking them to release the name of the person involved in the case which appeared in newspapers in March of last year.

The Justice Department, for its part, had sent back copies of case documents indicating names of officials in 22 countries who were allegedly involved but failing to include the names any Egyptian officials.

Commission head David Henshall, however, had said that details of the case could not be revealed for several months, which he later extended for another four months, then yet again for another month, before he refused completely in his last response.

The case documents showed that the money was paid through a mediating company called “Consulting Egypt.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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