SPAIN SHELVES PROBE INTO SAUDI RAIL PROJECT CONTRACT
The Manila Times
Asia And Oceania
Spanish prosecutors have dropped a probe into suspicions Spanish firms paid kickbacks to secure a contract to build a high-speed rail link in Saudi Arabia, a ruling made public Thursday (Friday in Manila) showed. In 2011, Saudi Arabia awarded the contract worth 6.8 billion euros ($7.2 billion) to a consortium of 12 Spanish companies and two Saudi firms to build the railway linking Islam’s holiest cities, Mecca and Medina. Spanish prosecutors opened an investigation into the deal after a former mistress of Spain’s former king Juan Carlos was heard in a telephone conversation discussing commissions which were allegedly paid to secure the contract. Anti-corruption prosecutors decided to shelve the probe “as it was not possible to determine the possible commission of the criminal offense,” according to the ruling dated May 4.