Former Lockheed Official Pleads Innocent in Bribery Case
ATLANTA (AP) _ A former Lockheed Corp. executive who fled to his native Syria after being indicted for bribery pleaded innocent Friday to federal bribery charges.
But under an agreement with prosecutors, Suleiman Nassar will change the plea to guilty at a hearing July 31, said his lawyer, Robert E. Zuckerman of Washington.
Nassar, former director of marketing in Lockheed’s international division in Geneva, was freed on bail after attorneys said his entire U.S. assets, $867,000, had been posted with the court.
He will be able to travel freely in the United States until the July 31 hearing.
Nassar, another Lockheed official and the company were indicted on charges of bribing an Egyptian legislator to help sell C-130 Hercules transport planes to that country.
Nassar had promised to appear in Atlanta for arraignment June 28, 1994, but fled Geneva for Syria.
He was arrested by the Syrian government March 20 and was held four months at Adra prison, about 30 miles north of Damascus. But the Syrian government has no extradition treaty with the United States, which created a diplomatic problem for Nassar, who was trying to return to this country.
Lockheed, the defense aerospace contractor which makes the C-130 in suburban Atlanta, meanwhile pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiring to violate the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Retired Lockheed executive Allen R. Love also pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy.
Lockheed has since merged with the Martin Marietta Corp. to form the Lockheed Martin Corp.