Three vice-presidents of Hewlett-Packard (HP) have been indicted by German Prosecutors, following a three-year investigation into allegations that they made corrupt payments of almost £6 million to Russian officials. The payments are alleged to have been made to facilitate a contract to provide computer equipment to the Office of the Russian Prosecutor General.

The Prosecutors allege that the HP employees approved the creation of a fund from which money was siphoned to Russia through a German subsidiary, a network of shell companies and various foreign bank accounts.

If convicted, the suspects could face a jail-term of up to four years. HP, which has itself been attached to the indictment, could be ordered to surrender the £28 million profit it received from the deal.