Friday 26 February 2021

Dutch businessman in court for bribing Google executive

A gavel in a courtroom.

Photo: Depositphotos

A Dutch businessman will appear in court in Almelo on Monday, charged with bribing a Google executive, the Financieele Dagblad said on Thursday.

Former TCN Groep boss Rudy Stroink and his wife are charged with paying €1.7m in bribes, as well as money laundering, fraud and forgery to attract Google to a data centre in Eemshaven, the paper said.

The transactions took place between July 2008 and March 2010 when Stroink was head of property firm TCN, which has since virtually collapsed.

Stroink is said to have paid the money to former Google director Simon Tusha, whose job was to negotiate contracts with data centres around the world.

Tusha admitted in court in the US this year he had received some $3.2 million in kickbacks from companies in Britain and the Netherlands who were negotiating contracts for data centres with Google.

The court case focuses on a smaller data centre owned by TCN, not the new centre which is due to be opened by economic affairs minister Henk Kamp next month, the Volkskrant reported.

The paper says the first contacts with Google about the new data centre were laid in 2012, after Tusha had left the company.

Google said in a statement: ‘We are the victim of the crimes that will be charged. Simon Tusha left the company seven years ago and we have been fully supportive of the government’s investigation of this matter. We started the conversations about the current datacenter after Simon Tusha left. He was not involved.’

This article has been updated to reflect new information from the Volkskrant.

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