The ongoing inquiry is looking into whether false financial information was given when the prospectus was drawn up. The probe has now reached the examination stage in which the investigating magistrate Dominique de Talance will question chairman Patrick Ponsolle and other leading executives, according to the French satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine.
Eurotunnel’s head of communications Sarah Kendall dismissed the questioning stage as a normal part of any investigation. However, she said that the chairman had not as yet received a formal request to appear before a court.
Under the French judicial system, a formal investigation can be conducted by a lawyer usually an investigating magistrate who has the power to decide whether there are legal grounds for a case to reach court.
The investigation follows a 1997 lawsuit brought against the Anglo-French company by ADACTE, a group defending shareholders’ interests, in which ADACTE accused Eurotunnel of ‘misuse of public funds and publication of false accounts’.
Ponsolle was a director and not chairman of Eurotunnel at the time of the rights issue of shares.