Executive of French Firm Under Investigation Released
PARIS (AP) _ A Paris Appeals Court panel released the president of French telecommunications equipment company Alcatel CIT from jail after eleven days of pretrial detention on suspicion of fraud, the company confirmed.
Judge Jean-Marie D’Huy has been investigating evidence that Alcatel CIT systematically overcharged France Telecom, its biggest client, over a period of years. D’Huy charged Pierre Guichet with fraud on Nov. 21 and jailed him, apparently to prevent his tampering with evidence or witnesses.
The Appeals Court Chambre d’Accusation, which rules on procedural matters involving cases in process, agreed with the written recommendation of the public prosecutor, who deemed the jailing of Alcatel CIT president Pierre Guichet excessive.
According to a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, Guichet remains under heavy judicial restrictions. He can’t conduct business or have contact with officials of Alcatel, France Telecom or B Joncour-Chapuis, a manager of Alcatel CIT’s transmission activity in 1989-90, who has also been charged in the investigation of overbilling for transmission equipment.