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Embattled Von Roll manager resigns

René Lüthy was freed on bail three weeks ago Keystone Archive

René Lüthy, a senior executive at the Von Roll Group, has stepped down just three weeks after being released from prison on bail.

This content was published on September 3, 2002 - 17:45

Lüthy resigned in order to prepare for a court case he faces in Germany, according to a statement released by Von Roll.

The Zurich-based materials and technology group said that Lüthy asked to leave the company to avoid any negative effects on its reputation.

Lüthy, the head of Von Roll's Inova division, was arrested in July in Amsterdam and then extradited to Germany where he was wanted on bribery charges.

The 59-year old general director is suspected by the authorities in Bonn of acting as an intermediary for money transfers between the Swiss engineering group, ABB, and Reiner Schreiber, a former executive at Bonn's public utilities office.

Investigators suspect that ABB used the money to buy information that helped them win a contract to construct a gas-fired power station in the former German capital.

Lüthy, who worked for Von Roll for 23 years, was freed from prison in early August after Von Roll paid bail of €200,000 (SFr292,000).

Von Roll - who have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the case - said they regret Lüthy's resignation.

The company's CEO, Martin A Messner, will take over Lüthy's position until a successor is appointed.

swissinfo

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