Sweden to summon former Saab chairman in tax inquiry: report

STOCKHOLM Thu May 23, 2013 3:03am IST

Swedish Automobile Chief Executive Victor Muller speaks to media during a news conference in Trollhattan, southwestern Sweden, December. 19, 2011. REUTERS/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/Scanpix

Swedish Automobile Chief Executive Victor Muller speaks to media during a news conference in Trollhattan, southwestern Sweden, December. 19, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/Scanpix

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A Swedish prosecutor wants to question Victor Muller, former chairman of bankrupt carmaker Saab, for an inquiry into suspected tax offences, a Swedish newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Swedish prosecutors on Tuesday questioned Saab's former Chief Executive Jan-Ake Jonsson and two other executives as part of its tax investigation.

Sweden's Svenska Dagbladet, referring to court documents which it had obtained, said Muller also was wanted for questioning.

"Victor Muller is going to be called into the Financial Crimes Unit," Chief Prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the paper.

Neither Muller nor the prosecutor's office were immediately available when contacted by Reuters.

Prosecutors are looking into allegations that executives at Saab, which collapsed in 2011, obstructed proper tax checks over the years 2010 to 2011, a turbulent time for the company, when it was sold by General Motors to small Dutch sports car maker Spyker, and when problems which led to its collapse emerged.

The Financial Crimes Unit has given no details of exactly what it alleges happened to prevent the tax office carrying out its checks except that it involved measures taken when company accounts were drawn up.

Saab, a maker of cars since 1947, crashed into bankruptcy at the end of 2011, less than two years after General Motors (GM.N) sold it to Dutch sports-car 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 (600104.SS), 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.

(Reporting by Mia Shanley; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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