Europe's largest defense contractor fraud exposed

According to the British Guardian Europe's largest defense contractor, BAE Systems PLC, has paid about €1.5 to former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The Guardian alleged that three companies linked to the 89-year-old, who seized power in a military coup in 1970, were named in legal documents compiled by Chilean authorities as having received payments from the defense firm.

The newspaper claimed that a series of payments, totaling €1,709,154 were made between December 1997 and June 2004.

BAE Systems in its turn cited the Corporate Responsibility report which says: "Employees are required to act with honesty, integrity and fairness. We will not tolerate bribery or other attempts to improperly influence the decisions of customers or suppliers."

The report was developed by the Guardian staff in cooperation with the Chilean daily newspaper La Tercera, the AP reports.