Nobel prize committees accused of briber
Thursday, December 18, 2008, (Stockholm)
Several Nobel science prize committees in Sweden are being investigated for possible bribery, a special corruption prosecutor told a news agency on Thursday.
The first case involves several members from the prestigious Nobel committees for medicine, physics and chemistry who visited China at the expense of the Chinese authorities.
Special corruption prosecutor Nils Erik Schultz said he had launched a preliminary investigation.
He said he was looking into "the cost, who went on the trip, where they went, what position they held and I want to see their itinerary too."
In addition, he was examining "why the Chinese wanted to invite these people to China, was there the possibility they thought they could influence them in any way."
The investigation is not currently examining any people specifically, but looking into the trip itself to begin with, he said.
No Chinese citizen has won a Nobel Prize for the past three years.
The Medicine Prize is awarded by the Nobel committee at the Karolinska Institute, while the Physics and Chemistry prizes are awarded by separate committees at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
The second corruption case involves Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which earlier this year signed a sponsor agreement with two Nobel companies with close ties to the Nobel Foundation, Nobel Web and Nobel Media.