Russian investigators lost in translation over Daimler bribe case

The case of Russian officials allegedly bribed by German car giant Daimler is in a deadlock, with Russian investigators apparently unable to hire an English language translator, reports Russian newspaper Vedomosti.

The newspaper refers to blogger Alexey Navalny. He has spoken to the officials from the department combating economic crimes, which is in charge of the investigation. Navalny says the officials asked him to provide additional information concerning the case. When he suggested that they can get the necessary data from the official site of the US Ministry of Justice, the investigators answered they do not have a translator.

Last spring the US Ministry of Justice accused Daimler AG, whose core production is Mercedes-Benz cars, of bribing officials in 22 countries during the period from 1998 to 2008, so as to promote governmental contracts to purchase vehicles produced by the group.

Russia was one of those countries where officials at different levels allegedly received about 3 million euros to secure Daimler's supply contracts with local government bodies.

According to Navalny, the investigation of the case is being deliberately suspended, since on June 7, the time allocated to checking the information runs out and it will be possible for Russian investigators to refuse to open a criminal case.

Meanwhile, there is no longer any question of the Moscow government’s involvement in the corruption scandal, reported news agency RIA-Novosti in the beginning of June, referring to a source in the Moscow government.

Sergey Tsoy, head of the press service for the Moscow government, said that there are no Mercedes-Benz cars produced by the group in the government’s carpool. According to Tsoy, Daimler’s administration has sent an official letter refuting any allegation of the Moscow government having a hand in the scandal.