Innogy manager attacked: motive in “professional environment

innogy manager attacked: motive in 'professional environment

Innogy manager bernhard gunther, who was seriously injured in an acid attack, sees the motive behind the act in his “professional environment.

The 52-year-old said in an interview with the newspaper "handelsblatt" that he suspected a particular person of being the client. A suspect was arrested at the end of october and released after a good four weeks.

After the arrest, several media had already reported suspicions against a competitor. Gunther said in response to a question from the "handelsblatt" newspaper about whether he suspected a particular person: "yes. Interestingly, the prosecutor’s office did not contradict these media reports. Obviously, however, the judiciary does not have sufficient evidence so far. And rightly we have the principle of presumption of innocence."

Gunther referred in the interview to the unrest at innogy at the time of the sour attack. If he had been "taken out of the game" at that time, there would have been room on the board. "Crimes have already been committed for smaller sums," gunther told the "handelsblatt" newspaper.

According to the manager’s own statements, he assumes that he was supposed to go blind as a result of the attack: "if someone is keen on your job or believes that you are standing in the way of his career, then that would be a very effective method," gunther said in the interview.

Innogy’s chief financial officer was arrested on 4. March 2018 after jogging near his home in haan near dusseldorf attacked by hooded men and doused with highly concentrated acid.

On the health consequences gunther told the "handelsblatt": "I still have a long way to go and of course visible traces will always remain."Apart from the aesthetic, his eyes still caused him problems. Whether this "will ever be really good again remains to be seen," says gunther. There are still places and activities that he avoids: "where the risk seems too high, for example jogging alone."

The innogy manager again criticized the work of the investigative and judicial authorities. The police had been put on the trail of the suspected – and released again – man by tips from lawyers and private detectives that gunther had hired. "After the suspected perpetrator was identified, it took the police more than five months before I was presented with the relevant pictures to identify the man," gunther said in the interview.

He learned of the suspect’s release from a press inquiry and not from the court: "that may have been formally correct. But it shows a blatant lack of empathy and compassion for the victim."

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office told the german press agency about gunther’s accusations that he had already seen photos of the suspect before police could show him any. The court had doubted the value of the suspect’s identification by the police via photos – and released the suspect for this reason, among others.

According to the public prosecutor’s office, the investigation continues in the meantime. The released man is still considered a suspect. Other people are also under investigation. The spokeswoman would not comment on whether this actually includes a competitor, gunther.

The manager does not rule out that the case will never be solved. "But if the theory that is currently at the center of attention is correct, there is at least something comforting for me: the motive for the crime is no longer given. My job as CFO will soon no longer exist," gunther said. Innogy is being taken over by eon.