Mannesmann executives may get early acquittal

1 Apr 2004

The trial of six former directors of German telco Mannesmann looks set to come to an early and unexpected conclusion after the judge presiding over the case said yesterday that the defendants had no criminal case to answer. The six men, which include current Deutsche Bank chief executive Josef Ackerman, officially stand accused of ‘breaching their fiduciary duties’ by approving almost EUR60 million in executive bonuses immediately following the group’s EUR180 billion takeover by Vodafone in 2000. Despite labelling the bonuses as excessively high, Judge Brigitte Koppenhöfer said the director’s actions did not constitute a breach of duty, and as such, she had no jurisdiction over the matter.