Siemens plans lawsuit against 11 former execs

Siemens plans to sue two former CEOs and nine other ex-executives for alleged supervisory failings in a corruption scandal that has cost the company millions in fines and damaged its reputation.

An Associated Press report also said Siemens' supervisory board decided to seek damages from former chief executive Heinrich von Pierer and his successor, Klaus Kleinfeld, now the chief executive of US-based Alcoa, and others, the industrial conglomerate said in a statement.

It did not specify how much money it would demand, the report said.

Siemens said it based its claim for damages on 'breaches of their organizational and supervisory duties' relating to illegal business practices and payments between 2003 and 2006, practices now placing a substantial financial burden on the company.

The company said the 11 former board members 'will be given an opportunity to state their positions on the accusations before legal action for damages is taken.'

Siemens has acknowledged dubious payments of up to €1.3 billion (US$2 billion) in the corruption case that came to light last year. An investigation commissioned by Siemens has found evidence of violations across the company and in several countries.

Siemens, which makes products ranging from wind turbines to trams, agreed in October to pay a fine of €201 million (US$316 million) to end some legal proceedings in Germany related to the investigation.

The company has put the total costs incurred by the scandal at €1.9 billion (nearly US$3 billion) _ a figure that also includes expenses such as back tax payments and advisory fees, the Associated Press report said.

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