Ex-M'bishi Hitachi execs admit to bribing Thai official

Ex-M'bishi Hitachi execs admit to bribing Thai official

Former executives of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Inc admitted on Tuesday to allegations of bribing a Thai public servant over a power plant project at their trial in a case under Japan's first plea bargain deal.

Fuyuhiko Nishikida, 63, and Yoshiki Tsuji, 57, admitted to the charges in the indictment during their first hearing at the Tokyo District Court.

The court adopted the plea bargain agreement signed by prosecutors and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power on June 28 as evidence, with the deal exempting the company from indictment in exchange for cooperation in investigations and the trial.

Conspiring with Satoshi Uchida, 64, who managed the power plant project at the time, Mr Nishikida, who was in charge of procuring materials, and Mr Tsuji allegedly paid 11 million baht (US$338,000) in February 2015 to a senior official at the Ministry of Transport in Thailand to receive favourable treatment in unloading cargo for the local power plant project, according to the indictment.

Thai authorities told them the Japanese company failed to meet necessary conditions for discharging cargo.

During the hearing, Tokyo prosecutors said Mr Nishikida and Mr Tsuji sought Mr Uchida's advice after the senior official at the ministry's port and harbour bureau asked for a bribe.

Mr Uchida accepted the request because he thought a delay in the project would incur a loss and cause problems for clients of the Japanese company, according to the prosecutors.

The first hearing for Mr Uchida will take place on Jan 11.

The company learned of this in March 2015, alerted by a whistleblower, and later reported it to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors' Office. Kyodo

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