* Norway police charge Hexagon CEO Rollen with insider
* Hexagon board affirms full support for Rollen
* Rollen to address case in conference call on Thursday 0900
(Adds comments from prosecutor, Hexagon chairman and Ola
Rollen, adds background, details)
OSLO/STOCKHOLM, March 15 Norwegian police have
charged Ola Rollen, the chief executive of Swedish measurement
technology and software firm Hexagon AB, with insider
trading, the country's white-collar crimes unit said on
Rollen, one of Sweden's most successful chief executives, is
accused of insider trading in connection with an investment in
Norwegian company Next Biometrics ASA in October 2015,
a transaction that did not involve Hexagon.
"We are convinced that Ola Rollen has done the things he's
now charged with, and that we can prove it in court," Senior
Public Prosecutor Marianne Bender told Reuters.
If found guilty, Rollen could face up to six years in
prison, according to the police, although the length of any
sentence will be decided by the courts, Bender added.
Hexagon's board said in a statement on Wednesday it
continued to fully support Rollen, who denies any wrongdoing,
adding he would continue as CEO.
"I’m confident that the charges brought against Ola will be
righted in the courts," Hexagon board chairman and top owner
Melker Schorling said.
Hexagon has been transformed into one of Sweden's biggest
companies under Rollen who has been at the helm since 2000 and
led the move from a disparate conglomerate with a market value
of just a few billion crowns.
When the company announced that Rollen had been detained on
insider trading suspicion in late October, Hexagon shares fell
10 percent on the day. They have since recovered sharply.
"I will continue to lead Hexagon with full force for as long
as the Board and our shareholders want me to," Rollen said in
the statement. He declined to give further comments on Wednesday
when contacted by Reuters.
Hexagon will hold a conference call on Thursday at 0900 GMT,
where Rollen will address the case.
His lawyers said they remained convinced that the court
would conclude that the case lacked merit.
"We believe that the case against Ola Rollén is based on a
misconception of the rules that apply," Christian B. Hjort and
Erik Keiserud said in a statement.
The trial will take place at the Oslo District Court, which
has yet to set a date for the proceedings.
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Johannes Hellstrom; Editing by