One of three executives fired by Renault plans to sue the manufacturer

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 20, 2011

Christian Charriere-Bournazel said that his client, Bertrand Rochette, one of three executives fired over accusations of committing industrial espionage against Renault S.A., is thinking about suing the French carmaker for defamation.

Rochette, who was number two to Michel Balthazard (the former vice president of advanced engineering), said he was determined to defend himself after receiving his dismissal letter a few days ago. Balthazard was also fired.

Charriere-Bournazel said the carmaker has not produced any evidence against Rochette, who wanted to be reinstated.

French state prosecutors recently launched an inquiry into industrial espionage at Renault after it filed a legal complaint alleging information had been passed to a foreign power, without saying which one.

Renault suspended the employees the previous week on suspicion they had leaked information about its high-profile electric car technology.

Xavier Thouvenin said Balthazard, his client, recently received his dismissal letter, which accused Balthazard of passing on strategic information in exchange for bribes, an accusation Balthazard denies "categorically."

Thouvenin said Balthazard would take the matter to an industrial tribunal. Charriere-Bournazel said Rochette found out in the newspapers that he was the object of a complaint lodged with the Paris prosecutor. [via reuters]

Topics: renault, france

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