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Pozzessere defends Agafia deal

Temas:

Former commercial director of Finmeccanica, Paolo Pozzessere, defended the role of Agafia Corporation as an agent in the execution of contracts between the Italian defense contractor and Panama.

In addition, he explained that at no time did he think that Agafia had a relationship with former President Ricardo Martinelli.

In this regard, he said that his colleagues only checked the legal composition of the company, which received a $25 million commission for acting as the registered agent for the consortium in Panama, which prosecutors have called a bribe.

Pozzessere's statements were made at a hearing being held in Rome in which he and Valter Lavítola are accused of international corruption in connection with the contract.

The former Finmeccanica official justified the role of Agafia in the deal as acting as a consultant. But prosecutors have said the company did not provide any actual services.

He later admitted that, "If I could go back in time, I would not hire Agafia."

On the other hand, he said that it was normal for companies to pay commissions of 7 percent to 15 percent for contracts in Central America.

Lavítola, on the other hand, claimed to have no connection to Agafia. Prosecutors have refuted that claim. They have provided evidence showing that Lavitola opened a bank account in Bulgaria on behalf of Agafia in August 2011.

The payments were blocked after Italian media exposed the scandal. This lead to charges being filed in that country. Prosecutors in Panama are also looking into the matter, and several of the contracts with Finmeccanica subsidiaries have been suspended.

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