A court in Stuttgart, Germany has today begun a second hearing into a claim for damages by ex-DaimlerChrysler AG shareholders. They maintain the company did not officially announce the departure of the former chief executive Juergen Schrempp.

Shrempp and former DaimlerChrysler board chairman, Hilmar Kopper, will testify in the hearing.

The company says that it did nothing wrong saying that the decision for Schrempp to depart was taken the day it was announced, July 28, 2005. But the Financial Times Deutschland has reported that a public relations company was notified of Schrempp's departure a day before it was officially disclosed.

A similar claim was rejected in February 2007, when a state court in Stuttgart ruled that the company was not obliged to announce the departure before the supervisory board had met and made a formal decision. The new hearing has been ordered by the Federal Court of Justice, which ruled in March that judges failed to consider sufficient evidence, said Reuters.

The July 2005 announcement of Schrempp's departure sent share prices up ten percent. Investors who had sold shares in preceeding days are seeking around EUR6.5m (US$9.4m in damages).

In August, a Frankfurt court rejected a call from financial regulators to fine Daimler over the issue.

Other new evidence reported by the FT Deutschland include e-mails that show that other people outside the organisation were informed about Schrempp's departure before the official announcement, and that a majority of supervisory board members had indicated beforehand that they would vote for it.