Sweden probes former Saab executives in tax investigation

STOCKHOLM Tue May 21, 2013 8:55am EDT

STOCKHOLM May 21 (Reuters) - Swedish prosecutors have detained the former chief executive of bankrupt car maker Saab and two others in an investigation into suspected tax offences relating to the running of the company, officials said on Tuesday.

In documents released by Vanersborg court in western Sweden, home to the former car maker, the prosecutor said former chief executive Jan-Ake Jonsson, former chief financial officer Karl-Gustav Lindstrom and former chief legal officer Kristina Geers had been detained for questioning in the investigation.

"All of them will in the afternoon face further questioning and a decision will be made about whether they need to be kept in detention," Olof Sahlgren, chief prosecutor at the Swedish financial crimes unit, said in a statement.

None of the defendants or their lawyers was immediately available for comment.

Lawyers for Geers and Lindstrom denied their clients' guilt to public radio.

"I am shocked and saddened that she (Geers) was detained," Geers' lawyer Bengt-Erik Sik told local radio.

The prosecutor said in the documents that all three were suspected of having taken part in creating obstructions to proper tax checks over the years 2010 to 2011, a time when Saab was sold by General Motors to Dutch group Spyker, and when problems which led to its collapse were emerging.

Saab, a maker of cars since 1947, crashed into bankruptcy at the end of 2011, less than two years after General Motors sold it to Dutch sportscar group Spyker.

Spyker soon hit financing problems and spent months stitching together deals with Chinese companies.

GM, which retained licensing rights and operates in China in a partnership with state-run automaker SAIC Motor Corp Ltd , late in 2011 effectively blocked deals with other Chinese companies.

Spyker has filed to sue GM for $3 billion, saying it deliberately let Saab go under. GM has rejected the allegation.

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.