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Siemens ex-finance chief is questioned by prosecutors in probe

Siemens AG's former CFO Heinz-Joachim Neubuerger was questioned by Munich prosecutors in an investigation whether company funds have been embezzled, the company said.

Neubuerger was questioned on January 9, Siemens spokeswoman Monika Bruecklmeier said today. The former finance chief asked the prosecutors for the meeting, she said. She declined to comment further. German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported earlier today that the prosecutors are investigating whether the former CFO knew about „odd payments” and had hidden them. Munich-based Siemens, which had its offices raided in 30 locations in Germany in November amid a bribery investigation, said on December 12 it's reviewing €420 million ($542 million) of payments to verify their legality. The probe, which has spread to at least six countries, has put pressure on Siemens to explain how an alleged system of bribes went unchecked by top management.

Neubuerger didn't return calls left on his voicemail seeking comment. Bruecklmeier said Siemens couldn't give information how Neubuerger could be contacted. Anton Winkler, a spokesman for Munich's public prosecution office, couldn't be reached immediately to comment on the report. On December 18, Neubuerger rejected a suggestion he failed to respond properly to evidence of irregular payments. He said he had „nothing to hide” and that his resignation in March had nothing to do with the issues currently under investigation. Siemens named Joe Kaeser as CFO on March 22 to replace Neubuerger, who unexpectedly resigned more than year before his term ended. (Bloomberg)