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US Firm Pleads Guilty to Bribery in Benin

A U.S. defense contractor has pleaded guilty to illegally supporting the re-election campaign of the president of Benin, where it was developing a telecommunications project.

The Titan company agreed Tuesday to pay a fine of $28 million to U.S. authorities for bribery and falsifying financial records.

U.S. prosecutors in California say the company gave two million dollars to a business advisor of Benin's president, Mathieu Kerekou, for so-called social projects.

They say some of the money actually bought T-shirts promoting the president's re-election in 2001.

In exchange for the money, U.S. prosecutors say the firm received higher payments on a wireless telephone project in the west African nation.

Officials say President Kerekou was unaware of the illegal payments at the time.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP, AFP.