The Court of Cassation on Wednesday rejected the appeal of the telecommunications equipment supplier Alcatel-Lucent, which finalizes its conviction in France of 150,000 euros in fines for bribery of foreign public officials in Costa Rica in the early 2000s. The Franco-American group, bought in 2016 by the Finnish Nokia, was initially released by the court in 2017, then sentenced on appeal in 2020. Two former employees, however, were exonerated.

The company had appealed to the highest court of the judiciary, which rejected it on Wednesday, according to a judgment.

Between 2001 and 2004, several million dollars in bribes were paid by Alcatel-Lucent to senior Costa Rican officials and officials, under the guise of consultant contracts, to secure telephone contracts from the Costa Rican Institute of electricity (Ice).

Bribe system

Two former Alcatel executives were sentenced abroad a few years ago for being at the heart of and profiting from the bribery system. In 2008, the Miami court had imposed 30 months in prison on the former deputy vice-president of Alcatel for Latin America, Christian Sapsizian, who had pleaded guilty. The former general manager of Alcatel Costa Rica, Edgar Valverde Acosta, was sentenced in 2011 in Costa Rica to fifteen years in prison.

For its part, Alcatel-Lucent had agreed in 2010-2011 to pay 137 million dollars to put an end to prosecutions for corruption in the United States, recognizing a lack of internal control.

A five-year prison sentence was handed down in 2011 in Costa Rica against former head of state Miguel Angel Rodriguez, suspected of having received more than $ 800,000 from these bribes.

Civil servants and business leaders were also sentenced.


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