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Germany to toughen anti-corruption law

[JURIST] Germany will introduce draft legislation tightening anti-corruption law, according to a Der Spiegel report to be published Monday. The move comes on the heels of scandals at Volkswagen AG and Siemens AG [corporate websites] and is intended to increase public prosecutors' power to investigate corruption of a broader range of implicated employees. The law would allow employees of foreign corporations to be indicted in Germany. German Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries [official profile, in German] will present the law for adoption by the end of the quarter. AFX has more.

In 2005 Volkswagen personnel chief Peter Hartz resigned [JURIST report] in the midst of a criminal investigation alleging two of his former employees to have committed fraud while working for Volkswagen. He was indicted in November 2006 for allegedly paying illegal bonuses [Der Spiegel report] to the former head of the works council and his mistress. Hartz, a close friend of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder [BBC profile], led a government panel that proposed changes to Germany's labor policy in 2002. Siemens AG is currently under investigation by the Nuremberg public prosecutor for possible foreign trade law violations related to its involvement in the United Nations' controversial Iraq Oil-for-Food program [JURIST news archive]. Der Spiegel has more.

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