Vincent Bollore, a French industrialist, businessman, media owner and billionaire, will go on trial over bribery allegations involving a Togolese official, a court in Paris has ruled.
Also, the court fined the Bollore Group $14.55 million over the case, which involves the bribing of an official in Togo to win a contract to run the port of Lomé a decade ago.
Bolloré, Gilles Alix, managing director of the Bolloré group and Jean-Philippe Dorent, international director of the Havas agency, a subsidiary of Bolloré, had accepted an appearance on prior admission of guilt (CRPC, a sort of “plead guilty” at the French) and the payment of a fine of $450,000.
However, the judge in Paris ruled that the corruption trial of a leading French industrialist should go ahead, despite his guilty plea.
The court decided that the case against Bolloré was so serious that it should not be settled, as agreed with prosecutors, with a $450,000 fine.
Jean-François Bohnert, in a statement on Friday, said Bollore Group will pay a 12 million-euro ($14.55 million) fine following a transaction with prosecutors in the alleged bribery case.
The transaction effectively puts an end to the legal proceedings in the case against the conglomerate.
“The investigation had concerned the corruption of foreign public officials, abuse of trust and complicity in breaches of trust committed between 2009 and 2011,” the financial prosecutor said.