Former Rolls-Royce CEO Rose questioned in bribery investigation: source

John Rose, then chief executive of Rolls Royce, looks on during the ground breaking ceremony on an extension to the current Singapore Aero Engine Services maintenance facility in Singapore February 18, 2008. REUTERS/Charles Pertwee

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) questioned former Rolls-Royce RR.L chief executive John Rose in a bribery investigation the company settled last month, a person familiar with the matter said, confirming a Financial Times report.

Legal firm WilmerHale, which is representing Rose, declined to comment. The SFO and Rolls-Royce also declined to comment.

The newspaper said Rose, who was chief executive from 1996 to 2011, was one of many former Rolls-Royce executives questioned under caution in the investigation, which was the largest ever undertaken by the SFO.

Rolls-Royce agreed to pay 671 million pounds ($837 million) to settle the lengthy case last month, drawing a line under investigations by British, U.S. and Brazilian authorities into alleged criminal conduct spanning three decades.

Judge Brian Leveson said at the time that the investigation had uncovered “the most serious breaches of criminal law in the areas of bribery and corruption, some of which implicated senior management”.

Leveson said the investigation into the conduct of individuals continued.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Susan Thomas