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Argentine IBM defendant found hanged

One of the executives charged in connection with a major bribes scandal is dead, in an apparent suicide

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The IBM-Argentina bribery scandal has taken a grisly turn with the news that a key suspect has been found dead. The body of Marcelo Cattaneo was discovered hanging on a Buenos Aires building site on Sunday - police are currently presuming he committed suicide. Cattaneo was one of a large number of officials from Banco Nacion, IBM, the Argentine government and contractors who have been charged in the bribes scandal. Four current and former IBM US executives are also the subject of extradition applications by the judge in the case, accused of being involved in the payment of bribes in order to win a contract to comupterise Banco Nacion for IBM. The contract itself collapsed in ruins, with Banco Nacion and IBM finally negotiating an out of court setttlement, and IBM subsequently downscaling its Latin American public sector work severely. The death of Cattaneo is likely to cause some damage to the prosecution's case. Reportedly, he claimed to have been in a position to say which of the executives involved accepted the bribes. The investigation is however sufficiently advanced for the prosecution to rely on other witnesses. ® Click for more stories

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