Sir Christopher Gent, the former chief of mobile giant Vodafone Group, is to testify in the trial of six former board members of Mannesmann AG, after an investigation into “appreciation” bonuses following the Vodafone takeover in 2001.
Gent was in charge of Vodafone during the $180bn hostile takeover, and was originally included in the investigations by German public prosecutors.
Yet the investigation against Gent was dropped in February 2003, although German prosecutors decided to press ahead with charges against six former Mannesmann board members, including the former Mannesmann CEO Klaus Esser, who received a 10m-pound ($18m) pay-off.
Also charged is the chief executive of Deutsche Bank, Josef Ackermann. The others include Klaus Zwickel (former head of IG Metall, Germany’s largest union), Dietmar Droste (former Mannesmann personnel chief), Joachim Funk (the ex-supervisory board head), and Jurgen Ladberg (former works council chief).
All of the men are charged with Untreue, or breach of trust, for their actions as executives or members of the board of Mannesmann.
Their alleged crime is the unlawful granting of $56m in appreciation awards and accelerated pensions to Mannesmann executives, including the $18m to Esser.
This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire