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Prosecutors Demand Jail Time for Mannesmann Execs

Mannesmann AG's two top executives should be jailed and Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Josef Ackermann given a suspended sentence for wasting shareholders' money during Vodafone Group Plc's €154 billion ($187 billion) takeover of the firm in 2000, prosecutors told a German court according to Bloomberg News. Former Mannesmann CEO Klaus Esser, ex-Supervisory Board Chairman Joachim Funk, former director Ackermann and three other managers and employees should be convicted for their involvement in more than 57 million euros in bonuses and other payments during the world's biggest takeover, Prosecutor Dirk Negenborn said during his final arguments Bloomberg reported. Wednesday's hearing was the last chance prosecutors had to sway the five judges, who in March said they'd seen no evidence of a criminal breach of shareholders' trust. The verdict, due next month, will probably set a precedent for corporate governance in Germany, lawyers have said. The defendants deny any wrongdoing.