San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

ICE challenges U.S. settlement with Alcatel

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) will challenge a settlement over a case involving bribery charges filed by the U.S. government against French telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent, formerly Alcatel, according to the news agency the Associated Press.

The settlement would allow Alcatel to pay the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission a combined $137 million to settle the case, which charged Alcatel officials with bribing government officials to win business contracts in Costa Rica, Honduras, Malaysia and Taiwan between 2001 and 2006.

According to the AP report, ICE attorneys consider the settlement too lenient and are pushing for more compensation for their clients.

ICE press spokeswoman Montserrat Salas did not answer questions from The Tico Times during a phone call, instead asking that questions be submitted in writing. The Tico Times is waiting for a written response to confirm the AP report.

A judge will rule on the case Wednesday.

Last April. 27, a San José criminal court sentenced former Costa Rican President Miguel Ángel Rodríguez to a five-year prison term for involvement in the case, along with former ICE officials (TT, April 29). That verdict awaits a judicial review process in order to stand.

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