Siemens Ex-Board Member To Stand Trial Over Scandal

29 Dec

BERLIN : A former Siemens board member will stand trial next month on charges of tax evasion and not doing enough to prevent one of the biggest fraud scandals in German corporate history, a court said Tuesday.

Thomas Ganswindt, 50, who ran the German conglomerate’s telecoms unit, will go on trial in the southern city of Munich on January 11, the court said in a statement.

He is charged with tax evasion and failure to perform his supervisory duties. Additional charges of bribery brought by prosecutors will not be part of the trial and will be dealt with separately, the court added.

Siemens, which employs some 400,000 people, was hit in 2006 by a huge scandal that saw it admit to paying around 1.3 billion euros (1.7 billion dollars) in bribes to land lucrative contracts over a period of several years.

The revelations forced the departure of a string of senior management including Heinrich von Pierer, the 160-year-old firm’s supervisory board chairman and one of Germany’s best-known corporate figures.

The engineering and electronics giant agreed to pay nearly one billion euros to US and German authorities in 2008 and some 20 former directors later agreed to settle damages claims with payments of around 20 million euros.

Ganswindt and former finance chief Heinz-Joachim Neubuerger refused however to pay damages of five million euros and 15 million euros respectively, prompting Siemens to launch legal proceedings against them.

– AFP

Channel News Asia

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