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Business

Court Sets Date for Mannesmann Appeals

Germany's Federal Supreme Court said Thursday it had set a date in October to hear state prosecutors' appeals in the long-running Mannesmann case. The court in Karlsruhe said it had set aside October 20 and possibly October 21 for appeal hearings in the case, in which top-ranking corporate executives, including Deutsche Bank chief Josef Ackermann, were acquitted last July. Then, Ackermann and five others were cleared of wrongdoing by a court in Düsseldorf in the multi-billion-euro takeover of German telecommunications firm Mannesmann by British mobile phone giant Vodafone in 2000. In the high-profile corporate trial, the men were found not guilty of charges of breach of fiduciary duty when they rubber-stamped multi-million-euro golden handshakes to managers at the end of the fierce Mannesmann-Vodafone takeover battle four years ago. Prosecutors, including Chief federal prosecutor Kay Nehm, filed an appeal against the not-guilty verdict. The prosecution had been demanding prison sentences of varying length with or without probation for the six men -- who alongside Ackermann included former Mannesmann chairman Klaus Esser, Mannesmann's former supervisory board chief Joachim Funk, the former head of the powerful IG Metall labor union, Klaus Zwickel, and two others, Jürgen Ladberg and Dietmar Droste. The managers were charged with breaking the law by approving a total 111.5 million marks (57 million euros, $69 million) in payouts for former Mannesmann executives.

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