SFO chares ex-BAE agent in bribery case

A former Austrian agent for British defence contractor BAE Systems has been charged with corruption.

The Serious Fraud Office charged 56-year-old Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly for bribing government officials in Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic in return for contracts for Gripen fighter jets.

The SFO said that the British defence company was still under probe for its alleged involvement in suspected corruption in Eastern Europe, South Africa and Tanzania.

When contacted, BAE Systems said, “Now that proceedings have commenced in this matter, the company is unable to comment and it would be inappropriate to do so.”

Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly yesterday appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court to face corruption charges. He is accused of acting corruptly between 2002 and 2008.

Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly is married to the former Austrian health minister Maria Rauch-Kallat.