Esser lawyers go on the offensive in Mannesmann trial

15 Jul 2004

Lawyers defending former Mannesmann chief executive Klaus Esser have rejected calls for his imprisonment and accused prosecutors of misleading the court. During the final day of the hearing in Germany’s biggest ever court case, Esser’s counsel said that the prosecution had ‘wrecked’ the defendant’s right to a fair trial, placing particular emphasis on their alleged manipulation of the media. Esser is one of five former Mannesmann executives accused of a breach of duty for awarding EUR60 million worth of bonuses shortly after Vodafone’s EUR178 billion takeover of the company. A verdict is due next week.

Germany, Vodafone Group