German prosecutors in the Mannesmann bonus trial will bring fresh evidence and new charges against defendants including the head of Deutsche Bank to save their ailing case,
Reuters news agency reported on Thursday. State prosecutor Johannes Puls told reporters outside the Düsseldorf court building that Deutsche Bank chief Josef Ackermann, one of the six defendants, had deliberately broken the law governing listed German companies. In a new charge introduced on Thursday,
Reuters said the state prosecutors are abandoning their previous criminal charge of breach of trust to focus on the lesser charge that Ackermann knew that at least one bonus payment, to Mannesmann supervisory board member Joachim Funk, broke the law. Ackermann and other former Mannesmann directors had faced the charge of wasting shareholder money in approving €60 million ($74 million) of payments to managers of the steel-to-telecoms conglomerate when it was bought by Vodafone in 2000. But last week, the judge in the trial virtually threw out the case when she told a packed courtroom that the prosecution had failed to convince her that Ackermann and others had done anything criminally wrong.