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GLOBAL MANHUNT IN AIRCRAFT SCHEME CLOSING IN ON EX-LOCKHEED EXECUTIVE

SHARE GLOBAL MANHUNT IN AIRCRAFT SCHEME CLOSING IN ON EX-LOCKHEED EXECUTIVE

A former Lockheed Corp executive could be behind bars soon for his role in an alleged corruption scheme involving a $79 million aircraft sale to Egypt, federal prosecutors said Friday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Weinstein said an international man-hunt involving police from Europe, the Middle East and the United States is closing in on Suleiman Nassar, who worked for Lockheed's aeronautical division in Geneva.Nassar, who is accused of conspiracy to bribe a member of the Egyptian parliament, became a fugitive from justice in June when he failed to show up for arraignment.

Authorities say he fled his home near Geneva for the Middle East.

"We've been informed by Interpol France that he has left his home in suburban Geneva. We believe we know where he is," Weinstein told U.S. District Judge Joel Feldman during a pretrial hearing.

The case involves the sale of three Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport planes to Egypt in 1989 during which, federal investigators say, Lockheed executives paid Leila Takla, a former member of Egypt's parliament, more than $1 million in exchange for her influence.

A second Lockheed executive, Allen Love, former sales director for the Middle East and North Africa, is free on $500,000 bond after being arraigned on similar charges.

Lockheed itself has been charged with violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.