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State says ready to settle German bonuses case

State says ready to settle German bonuses case
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State prosecutors in Germany have agreed to settle the case against Deutsche Bank’s CEO Josef Ackermann in the Mannesmann bonuses trial in return for a payment of 3.2 million euros. Ackermann and five other Mannesmann bosses are being re-tried for approving almost 60 million euros in windfall payments to Mannesmann executives after it was bought by Vodafone in 2000.

It was one of the biggest takeovers ever. Under the terms, the former Mannesmann boss Klaus Esser – who is accused of being an accessory – will pay one and a half million euros.

Esser said that he was convinced of his innocence. State prosecutors told the Dusseldorf regional court they were prepared to drop the case against all six defendants if they paid a total 5.8 million euros.

Last year, the German High Court overturned an earlier acquittal, accusing the defendants of behaving like “lords of the manor” in agreeing the windfalls. The Dusseldorf judge said the court would announce its decision on settlement next week.