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Siemens says will reimburse Brazil if cartel proven -paper

SAO PAULO, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Local company head Paulo Ricardo Stark said Siemens AG will reimburse public coffers if Brazilian authorities prove a cartel fixed prices for public transit construction, equipment and upkeep in Sao Paulo, Brazilian newspapers reported.

The German engineering company did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment on statements made by Stark in an investigative hearing on Thursday that were published in local newspapers O Estado de S.Paulo and Folha de S.Paulo on Friday.

Stark said internal company investigations turned up no signs that bribes had been paid to public officials, as some local media reports had reported.

Siemens has been cooperating with antitrust officials as they investigated charges it and other companies formed a cartel that raised the price of contracts to build and operate train and subway lines between 1990 and 2007.

In addition to Siemens, France's Alstom SA and other international and local engineering and railway equipment companies have bid for transit contracts in São Paulo in recent years.