Prague - Two former Austrian bankers, who are accusing the Erste Bank of channeling bribes to politicians and officials in Central and Eastern Europe, will have to defend themselves in court, too.
Their former employer, Erste Bank has decided to retaliate and file a lawsuit against them.
"We are preparing to file a complaint against the former employees for tarnishing our reputation," Ersta Bank spokesperson Hana Cygonková told Aktuálně.cz.
Hans Leitner and Peter Andahazy are far from being afraid, though. They say that they have enough evidence to prove their allegations.
They are accusing the Erste Bank of bribing politicians and officials in Central and Eastern Europe, including the purchase of the state stake in Česká spořitelna.
They also claim that the same people that were involved in the Erste Bank's corruption activities were involved in the Gripen corruption case. There were shady bank transfers and cash flow going through the Erste Bank connected to the Gripen purchase, the bankers alleged.
The documents they have as evidence come from intelligence agencies from a number of European countries. Among them are names of individuals as well as their bank accounts, the former bankers told Aktuálně.cz.
"After it was made public that we intend to fight against the Erste dirty business in the United States, intelligence service agents from across Europe have contacted us, offering us documents that may be helpful at the court," Hans Leitner told Aktuálně.cz.
Trusting the American judicial system more than the one in Europe, they hired American lawyers and are now preparing to file a lawsuit with the American Federal Court by the end of this year.