Corruption scandal

Warnings Unheeded at Berlin's Airport

Das leere Vorfeld des Flughafens Berlin Brandenburg, aufgenommen am 23.06.2014. Nach Problemen mit der Brandschutzanlage ist ein Eröffnungstermin des Flughafens noch nicht in Sicht. Foto: Michael Kappeler/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Investigators are looking closely into the beleagured BER airport, much delayed and with costs far above initial estimates.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Berlin’s much-delayed airport may wind up costing taxpayers even more money.

  • Facts


    Netherlands firm Imtech invoiced the BER airport consortium for €33 million in undefined services.

    Chief operating officer Horst Amann said he paid the invoice because he feared if he didn’t, it could delay completion of the project.

    Ultimately only €7 million of Imtech services were delivered before the firm went bankrupt.

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In the corruption scandal around Berlin’s new airport, questions have opened up about invoices paid by former chief operating officer Horst Amman to Imtech, the now insolvent construction contractor.

Berlin’s new airport has been repeatedly delayed, the costs of the project have continued to rise and a stream of revelations suggest problematic dealings which have yet to be fully uncovered.

Documents now show that warnings were given about the level of payments to Imtech, the Dutch construction company, but went unheeded.

An e-mail sent by the inhouse counsel at Berlin Brandenburg airport (BER) on December 6, 2012 at 9:31 a.m. said of Imtech’s invoice for €33 million, or $36 million, only €18 million was justified – by even the most generous standards.

Horst Amann wrote back less than 24 hours later, stating the payment should go ahead, otherwise there was a risk of not meeting the construction deadline.

Mr. Amann, the airport’s chief technology officer and construction supervisor, wrote back at 8:01 a.m. on December 7, said he was concerned that if they did not pay Imtech’s bill in full, the company might abandon the project.

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