Former Siemens management board member Johannes Feldmayer was charged by German prosecutors on Wednesday in what will be the second criminal trial related to a series of scandals that have hit the engineering group.
“I only received the bill of indictment tonight,” Martin Reymann-Brauer, Mr Feldmayer’s lawyer, told the Financial Times.
Mr Feldmayer is charged by prosecutors in the German city of Nuremberg with breach of trust as well as tax evasion for the benefit of Siemens, the attorney said.
The prosecutors suspect Siemens, which declined to comment, provided money to the Association of Independent Employees, a rival to its main trade union. Wilhelm Schelsky, the former head of the association, is also charged with breach of trust and tax evasion for his own benefit in Nuremberg, Mr Reymann-Brauer said.
The Nuremberg judge dealing with the case, Antje Gabriels-Gorsolke, could not be reached.
Neither Mr Feldmayer nor Mr Schelsky’s lawyer Juergen Lubajanski could immediately be reached for comment.
Several former Siemens executives are formal suspects in the union funding probe including Heinz-Joachim Neuburger, former chief financial officer, Karl-Hermann Baumann, another former CFO and ex-chairman.
All, including Mr Feldmayer, have always denied any wrongdoing.
The trial against Mr Feldmayer would be the second against a former manager of Europe’s biggest engineering group.
The company has also been dogged by a €1.3bn ($2bn) bribery scandal that could potentially cost it several billion euros in fines.
A Munich court has opened a case against Reinhard Siekaczek, a former middle-ranking manager in the telecoms unit who worked at Siemens for 38 years and does not dispute the charges of breach of duty.
In March, Mr Feldmayer was the first active board member to be detained in the bribery probe but was released after only one week. The former trade union head Mr Schelsky has been in detention more than a year.
Mr Feldmayer was once tipped as a contender for the post of chief executive at Siemens.
Until he stepped down from the management board, he was mainly responsible for the corporate strategy of the company.
Siemens is facing a possible fine from the US Securities and Exchange Commission related to the bribery scandal.
The estimates for this fine vary wildly up to a sum as large as $5bn.
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