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German space company CEO fired over WikiLeaks revelations
Posted: Tue, Jan 18, 2011, 6:01 AM ET (1101 GMT)
Galileo satellite illustration (OHB System) The board of the German satellite manufacturer OHB-System fired the company's CEO Monday over comments attributed to him in a cable obtained by WikiLeaks. The board of OHB-System removed Berry Smutny over comments he made to diplomats at the US embassy in Berlin that were written up in cables that were later obtained by WikiLeaks and then published by the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. In a cable published by the newspaper last week, Smutny was critical of the Galileo satellite navigation system in an October 2009 conversation, saying it was a "stupid idea that primarily serves French interests." A year ago OHB, in cooperation with SSTL, won a contract to build the first 14 Galileo satellites. OHB originally denied that Smutny made the comments, but in a statement announcing Smutny's firing Monday the company's board said it had remove him "in order to effectively avert any further damage to the company on the part of customers, political representatives and the public at large."
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