German official was 'bribed in arms case'
Thursday 03 March 1994
It has been claimed that the wholly-owned subsidiary, Heckler & Koch, bribed an expert witness being called in the trial of a company executive accused of illegally exporting arms to the Middle East.
The prosection has already alleged that British officials at Royal Ordnance, when it was a state-run company, helped Heckler & Koch export arms to banned countries during the 1980s on a far greater scale than so far disclosed by the Scott arms to Iraq inquiry. Heckler & Koch was acquired by Royal Ordnance in 1991, five years after it was privatised and sold to British Aerospace.
Karlheinz Beiter, the state prosecutor, told a court in Rottweil, Baden-Wurttemberg that he had reason to believe that Heckler & Koch had bribed an expert witness with more than 15,000 German marks (pounds 5,929). He was to testify for the defence. Norbert Weise, the prosecutor in Koblenz - where the witness, Siegfried Kapelle, works - told the Independent yesterday that he had since opened a case against both the official and Heckler & Koch itself. No one has yet been charged.
Disclosure of the investigation will embarrass Royal Ordnance, which has responsibility for Heckler & Koch. A spokesman said yesterday that the company was not aware of the Koblenz investigation but confirmed that police had visited Heckler & Koch at its office in Oberndorf. He said: 'I am told that it was a legitimate transaction.'
Mr Beiter alleged in court that a raid on Mr Kapelle's house in Koblenz earlier this month had revealed a payment to him of DM15,780 from Heckler & Koch - far more than was justified, the prosecutor said, for his work as a witness to the court. Mr Kapelle did not report this payment to the German Ministry of Defence where he works. Under German law, he should have done so. The prosecutor also claimed that Mr Kapelle did not inform the court of a close working relationship with H&K before the trial.
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
Royal Tour 2014: Is the Duchess of Cambridge the only person ever to climb into a fighter jet wearing a dress and high heels?
Kim Jong-un, crowds and contraband: Inside North Korea with the Pyongyang marathon winner
Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 'Natural' energy drink banned for containing erectile dysfunction drug
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 4 Angus Steakhouse: How does tourist staple continue to thrive in today's gourmet market?
- 5 Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...