The government’s closely watched foreign bribery sting case that nabbed 22 arms and military equipment industry executives and employees began Tuesday here in Washington, where a prosecutor described to jurors an allegedly corrupt deal to sell $15 million worth of supplies to the defense minister of Gabon.

The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Haray, said the four defendants on trial — the first group to take the allegations to a jury — participated in a scheme that involved an illegal bribe to secure the supply contract with Gabon. The defendants were indicted last year in an aggressive prosecution that marked the first large-scale use of undercover techniques in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case.

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