STUTTGART, Sept 5 Former Porsche SE
finance chief Holger Haerter denied allegations he defrauded
French bank BNP Paribas in loan negotiations in early
"The accusations are demonstrably false," Haerter said on
the first day of trial in a Stuttgart court.
Public prosecutors in Stuttgart, where Porsche is based,
have said they suspect Haerter and two other Porsche employees
misled BNP on Porsche's liquidity needs and the risks of equity
options business as they negotiated for refinancing from BNP.
The three men could face three years in prison if they are
found guilty. Twenty days of hearings have been set aside for
the trial which begins as Haerter and former Porsche SE chief
executive Wendelin Wiedeking wait to find out whether German
prosecutors will charge them with market manipulation of
There are also still separate legal proceedings affecting
Porsche SE, the publicly traded holding company that still owns
50.7 percent of Volkswagen's ordinary shares.
Last month, a New York state court rejected a motion by
Porsche SE to dismiss a $1.4 billion-plus lawsuit brought by 26
hedge funds alleging fraud and unjust enrichment stemming from
its trading in Volkswagen's shares four years ago.
(Reporting by Hendrik Sackmann; Writing by Maria Sheahan;
Editing by Dan Lalor)