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Alcatel-Lucent Wins Request to Transfer Bribery Case to Costa Rica

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An appeal by Alcatel Lucent to move a bribery court case from the USA to Costa Rica has been upheld by the Circuit Court in Miami, against the wishes of Costa Rica's Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE).

Alcatel-Lucent has admitted in US courts that some of its staff and subsidiaries bribed officials at ICE when awarding network contracts. ICE is now seeking compensation from the company.

As the potential financial penalties in the USA are far higher than possible in Costa Riuca, ICE said it was naturally disappointed with this ruling, and believes that Judge Echarte's order is inconsistent with factual and legal principles that should apply to the matter. The company plans an appeal.

Judge Echarte's order did not rule on the validity of any of the claims asserted by ICE, but merely indicated that the courts of Costa Rica might be a more convenient forum for adjudication of the case. While ICE is disappointed with Judge Echarte's order, the order does provide certain benefits to ICE in the form of stipulations. These include stipulations that Alcatel-Lucent and its defendant subsidiaries consent to jurisdiction in Costa Rica and waive all statutes of limitations that might apply to the case. These stipulations would be a benefit if the case eventually would have to be tried in Costa Rica.

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Tags: alcatel-lucent  bribery  department of justice  ice  instituto costarricense de electricidad  court  rica  usa  Costa Rica