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Chairman says Deutsche Bank knew of probe when extending CEO contract

Paul Achleitner, head of the supervisory board of Deutsche Bank AG speaks during a shareholders meeting in Frankfurt May 23, 2013. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

HAMBURG (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank (DBK.DE) Chairman Paul Achleitner said the supervisory board at Germany's flagship lender decided to extend co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen's contract until 2017, despite knowing about a criminal probe against him.

"We know Mr Fitschen and his personal integrity, and we were informed about the Munich investigation when his contract was extended with unanimous consent," Achleitner told an audience at a conference in Hamburg on Thursday.

"We know the bank is in good hands," he added.

On October 29, Deutsche said it had extended Fitschen's contract by two years.

Days later, on November 4, the Munich public prosecutor named Fitschen as a suspect in a probe into whether he offered misleading evidence about a decade-old dispute over the collapse of the Kirch media empire.

Fitschen himself could not be contacted via the bank on Thursday. A Deutsche Bank spokesman declined to comment on his behalf, and referred to an earlier statement in which the lender said, "The bank is absolutely convinced that this suspicion will prove to be unfounded."

(Reporting by Michelle Martin; editing by Edward Taylor and Anthony Barker)