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Business

Ackermann's Lawyers Protest at Damage to Client's Image

The legal team representing Deutsche Bank chief Josef Ackermann accused prosecutors of damaging their client's image during the trial in which he faces charges of approving illegal payments in Vodafone's 2000 takeover of cell phone company Mannesmann. Lawyers for the head of Germany's biggest bank submitted a formal complaint to the Justice Ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia state, which oversees Düsseldorf prosecutors, on Wednesday asking that the ministry ensure the prosecutors "stay within the law." Ackermann's team argued that prosecutors wrongly accused him of misinforming Mannesmann shareholders about how payments to the German company's former boss, Klaus Esser, and other executives were financed -- an accusation that they say was already disproved. "The prosecutors' actions contradict the ground rules of a fair trial," the lawyers' statement said. The complaint alleged that prosecutors not only damaged Ackermann "on a personal level and as chief executive of Germany's biggest bank, but also the image of the bank itself."