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Prosecutor Appeals Bombardier Bribery Acquittal

The case centers on accusations of bribery in winning a railroad signaling contract worth $340 million.

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Swedish prosecutors on Wednesday appealed the acquittal of a Russian employee of Bombardier, a Canadian plane and train maker, who was accused of aggravated bribery in one of Sweden's biggest corruption cases. 

A Stockholm court ruled earlier this month that "it could not be proven" that Evgeny Pavlov "has promised or offered an unfair advantage," saying it is a prerequisite for the existence of a bribe. Pavlov was accused of bribery to win a contract for a signaling system with a contract value of around $340 million. In 2013, Bombardier was part of a consortium winning a contract with Azerbaijan Railways for equipment on a 500-kilometer (300-mile) track. 

Prosecutor Thomas Forsberg said Wednesday that "the key issue ... is whether the benefit can be considered unfair or not."

Forsberg and fellow prosecutor Staffan Edlund noted the benefit to an unnamed public servant with the Azerbaijan Railway Authority consisted of expected earnings of $100 million "with accompanying profitability to a private company, to which the civil servant had a connection."

"The assessment should be whether the benefit objectively has had the potential to affect the performance of the employee's work or if it can be perceived as a reward for the performance of his duties," Forsberg said.

Pavlov was released ahead of the October 4 acquittal after seven months in jail. He had been arrested in March and ordered held in pre-trial custody to prevent him from fleeing or tampering with evidence. Emails seized in October 2016 during a search of Bombardier offices in Sweden were evidence in the case.

Swedish news agency TT and broadcaster SVT said their investigation showed Bombardier had sold the signal system via a British-based company named Multiserv Overseasadded, which then sold the identical equipment back to Bombardier's Azerbaijan affiliate for an inflated price.

No date for an appeals trial was immediately announced.

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