Qantas says one of its board members denies any wrongdoing after reports she has been caught up in a corruption investigation into an Italian bank.
Chairman Leigh Clifford says Corinne Namblard ‘‘strenuously denies’’ the allegations against her and the company of which she was chief executive at the time, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence.
However, Mr Clifford said, that in the event the allegations were correct, it was not appropriate for Qantas to comment further.
‘‘If the reports are correct, the matters are the subject of court proceedings in Italy aimed at determining whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant the commencement of criminal proceedings,’’ he said in a statement this morning.
The Australian Financial Review (AFR) reports Ms Namblard, a French financier appointed to the Qantas board in 2011, has been questioned in Italy as part of an investigation into alleged bid rigging and the Tuscan Monte dei Paschi di Seina bank.
Ms Namblard was reportedly asked to provide evidence about her involvement in the privatisation of Siena airport in 2007.
She was chief executive of Galaxy Fund, the winning bidder at the time, the AFR reports.
Ms Namblard told the AFR she had not been charged in relation to the investigation.
Mr Clifford said Qantas had no direct knowledge of the allegations, which related to events prior to Ms Namblard’s appointment to the board.