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    Groupe Schneider comments on Belgian investigating magistrate's reaction to its demand for assured due process

    Groupe Schneider, the French electrical equipment and construction company, issued the following statement regarding a matter in a Belgian Court concerning its affiliates there :

    The investigating magistrate's reaction today follows the submission last week of a petition to nullify proceedings to date based on a grave lack of fundamental due process.

    These serious violations of basic safeguards of due process include:
    - The extended detention --for a period of twelve days-- of Schneider's chairman solely for the purpose of accelerated information-gathering.
    - The disclosure of fragmentary and misleading information prejudicial to the Group.
    - Repeated use of incomplete and defective notification of intended judicial action.

    Given these and other violations of basic due process, today's Belgian action cannot be considered either legitimate nor legal.

    It should be noted that Schneider's chairman had repeated his willingness to respond to questions concerning this matter in the presence of French judicial authorities in order to ensure appropriate judicial safeguards for minimum standards of due process.

    The Groupe and its chairman restated today their confidence in the ultimate disposition of this matter and the total lack of merit in the accusations.

    Press Contact:
    Schneider Electric
    Véronique Moine
    Tel. +33 (0)1 41 29 70 76
    Fax +33 (0)1 41 29 71 95