Business News

Siemens CEO weighs in on bribery allegations

Joe Kaeser, president and chief executive officer of Siemens, has weighed in on a prospective court case involving his company which would focus on years-old allegations of bribery.

Several media reports in Germany last week said that Greek authorities had indicted 64 people - including German nationals - to stand trial for a scandal that first surfaced 17 years ago.

An court report alleged that around 70 million euros ($76 million) was paid in bribes to secure the sale of equipment from Siemens to a Greek telecom operator called OTE, according to the Die Welt news publication.

"I really believe the country (Greece) can move to the future, rather than trying to find the solutions in the past," Kaeser told CNBC, when asked about the case.

Joe Kaeser, chief executive officer of Siemens AG, during a news conference in Berlin, Germany, May 7, 2014.
Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

He added that his company had "dark history," mentioning compliance issues. But he said it was not a "black and white story" when asked whether the indictments had been politically motivated by the current friction between the German and Greek governments.

"Looking at the past doesn't help the future because the past is the past," he said, speaking on the sidelines of the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Those indicted are due to appear before a Greek appeals court, according to the GreekReporter news website. The publication also said that 13 former officers of Siemens were on the list of names in the court report, as well as former executives at OTE.