LONDON — Ernest Saunders, dismissed as chairman of the Anglo-Irish brewing giant Guinness, was arrested and charged with financial offenses during Britain's biggest takeover battle, police said today.
In the latest twist of Britain's worst financial scandal in years, fraud squad officers arrested the 51-year-old businessman at his lawyer's office in the heart of London's financial district Wednesday night and charged him with attempting to pervert the course of justice and destroying documents.
He was held in a police cell overnight and taken to court today for a hearing.
Guinness directors dismissed Saunders in January, saying they had uncovered irregularities in his conduct of last year's successful $4.5-billion Guinness takeover of the Scottish whisky makers Distillers Co.
Police also said fraud squad officers were probing Guinness' affairs but gave no further details. The government has been investigating the Distillers' takeover since December.