Tiny Rowland, founder of Lonrho and great corporate dualist who spent most of his latter years at Lonrho feuding with the Al Fayed brothers, yesterday circulated London newspapers and City firms with a translation of a criminal complaint he has lodged in the German courts against Dieter Bock, who took over from him at Lonrho.
Mr Rowland was fired in March and began suing for unfair dismissal.
The complaint, lodged with the Director of Public Prosecutions in Frankfurt, accuses Mr Bock of obtaining the position of sole managing director of Lonrho "in a dishonest and illegal manner".
He says that to reinforce his already strong position in the group, Mr Bock and an associate persuaded a German journalist, Frank Anderssohn, to help ease Mr Rowland out of the company he founded.
The complaint says that Mr Bock, using a false declaration from Mr Anderssohn, delivered an article to the Sunday Times newspaper which was detrimental to Mr Rowland. It states that Mr Anderssohn claimed to have been paid pounds 45,000 by Mr Rowland to collect and disseminate information that would discredit Mr Bock. It also states Mr Rowland supplied inaccurate information for a damaging article about Mr Bock's business affairs for an article that appeared in a German magazine called Focus.
The complaint alleges that in September 1994 Mr Rowland and an associate commissioned Mr Anderssohn to find out all information that might be detrimental to Mr Bock. It further alleges that if Mr Anderssohn could find no facts detrimental to Mr Bock he should invent or design such information "in a most efficient manner".
In the complaint Mr Rowland says neither he nor his associate had met Mr Anderssohn personally before April 12 1995.
A spokesman for Mr Bock said last night that Mr Anderssohn first appeared in Lonrho's offices a month after Mr Rowland's departure from the company and therefore could not have had any influence on Mr Rowland being eased out of the Lonrho boardroom.