Lawyers for DaimlerChrysler have told the judge presiding over billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian’s fraud lawsuit that there is no reason to punish the company for the late appearance of some evidence, Associated Press (AP) reported.


The report noted that US District Judge Joseph Farnan stopped the trial of Kerkorian’s case against DaimlerChrysler in December, in order to probe the circumstances behind the appearance late in the case of handwritten notes of former Chrysler Corp. executives who negotiated the merger with Daimler-Benz AG in 1998.


Farnan has scheduled a conference with the lawyers on Tuesday to discuss when the trial should resume, AP said.


According to the report, in a letter filed on Thursday with Farnan, DaimlerChrysler attorney Thomas Allingham said Kerkorian suffered no prejudice from the late appearance of the notes.


DaimlerChrysler asked the judge to endorse findings by a court-appointed special master who found the delay in producing the notes was likely the result of a clerical error, and not the product of wrongdoing by the company, Associated Press added.


AP said Kerkorian’s suit against DaimlerChrysler claims that Daimler-Benz falsely characterised its 1998 takeover of Chrysler as a merger – Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corp. was the biggest Chrysler shareholder at the time of the merger.


Kerkorian is suing for more than $1 billion in compensatory damages from DaimlerChrysler, claiming he and other Chrysler investors were duped into agreeing to a takeover, and that Daimler-Benz avoided paying him an acquisition fee of up to 62% on his shares when the firms merged, Associated Press noted.