IEC Files NIS 200m Suit Over Allegedly Rigged Turbine Bids

Itai Trilnick
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Itai Trilnick

A week after being extradited from Peru, former district court judge Dan Cohen was among the defendants to a NIS 200 million civil lawsuit filed Sunday by the Israel Electric Corporation.

Cohen, who was a member of IEC's board of directors from 1991-2001, stands accused of taking millions of shekels in bribes from the German corporation Siemens and a now-deceased businessman, Ezra Harel, in connection with turbine purchases made by IEC.

Cohen fled to Peru in 2005 after the police began to question him. He is accused of receiving 3 to 4 million euros in bribes, in the alleged rigging of bids for the turbines that IEC purchased from Siemens for more than 540 million euros.

Among the other defendants in the civil complaint filed this week are Siemens itself via its Israeli affiliate.

The suit alleges that Siemens paid bribes to Cohen while he was an IEC director to throw the bidding process in Siemens' favor, and that the bribes were paid through Oren Aharonson, of Siemens' Israeli affiliate. The money was said to have been transferred to a foreign bank account held by Cohen via Aharonson's brother-in-law, Daniel Shlomo, and Shlomo's Hong Kong-based company, Oakfield. Aharonson, Shlomo and Oakfield were also named parties to the IEC lawsuit.

In response to the suit, a lawyer representing Siemens, David Tadmor, said the complaint had not yet been served on his client and as a result the company cannot respond to its contents. "Nonetheless," he added, "this is an old incident, the facts of which constituted a portion of an agreement between Siemens and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that was concluded in 2008."

Former Israeli judge Dan Cohen outside a courthouse in Lima.Credit: Reuters
A power plant turbine.Credit: AP