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German defendants agree to $74M settlement in Mannesmann corruption case

[JURIST] The trial of six German defendants accused of breaching their fiduciary duties during the takeover of telecom giant Mannesmann [corporate website] came to an end Wednesday, with the defendants agreeing to pay substantial financial settlements in exchange for no criminal charges on their records. The defendants, including Deutsche Bank [corporate website] chief executive Josef Ackermann [Wikipedia profile], former Mannesmann executives, and labor leaders, were accused of illegally approving bonuses totaling 57 million euros ($74 million) for former executives when Vodafone [corporate website] assumed Mannesmann in 2000. The six men were acquitted [JURIST report] once before in 2004 when the court ruled that the approval of the bonus payments was not a criminal offense, but the German Federal Supreme Court [official website, in German] ordered the case to be retried in 2005.

Duesseldorf trial judge Stefan Drees approved the settlement reached last week, which mandates the six defendants to personally pay a total of 5.8 million euros ($7.5 million). A substantial portion of the money will be forwarded to charities with the remainder of the sum going to state coffers. AFP has more.

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