Mannesmann pair to face new charges?

15 Apr 2004

The trial of former Mannesmann directors Klaus Esser and Josef Ackerman may be extended into the autumn following the emergence yesterday of fresh accusations by the Dusseldörf state prosecutor. The two men, who were recently all but cleared by Judge Brigitte Koppenhofer for their alleged ‘breaching of fiduciary duties’ during Vodafone’s takeover of Mannesmann in 2000, now stand accused of knowingly failed to refer a bonus proposal for supervisory board chief Joachim Funk to a shareholder meeting. Lawyers for the two defendants are fighting hard to have the new charges dismissed, claiming that Mr Funk’s award related to earlier work he undertook for Mannesmann. The hearing was adjourned until next Wednesday with the judge giving no indication as to whether the new charges would be admissible.