Two Gripen jets leased to the Czech Air Force

Havel Knew of Gripen Bribery Suspicions

It’s been revealed that the former Czech President Vaclav Havel knew years ago that there were suspicions of bribery surrounding efforts to get his country to buy Sweden’s Gripen fighter jets.

Swedish manufacturer SAAB and it’s partner British firm BAE systems were hoping to sell the Czech Republic 24 of the planes. Instead 14 were leased.

In a message to government colleagues Havel wrote in 2002, he asked whether he should get the country’s security services to look into the claims. But it wasn’t until February this year that the Czech police started to investigate the bribery accusations, and that was following a Swedish TV documentary into the affair.

Prosecutors in Sweden, Britain, Austria and Switzerland are now also looking into the matter.

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