Millennium Post

Deutsche Bank Co-CEO gave false testimony, to face trial

Deutsche Bank co-chief Juergen Fitschen will face trial in April on allegations he gave false evidence in a long-running legal battle with the defunct Kirch group, the higher regional court in Munich said on Tuesday.

Fitschen and four others - ex-CEOs Rolf Breuer and Josef Ackermann and former executives Clemens Boersig and Tessen von Heydebreck - were all indicted last September and charged with the alleged attempted deception in the long-running case.

All five have denied any wrongdoing.

The court said in a statement that the trial would begin on April 28, with a total 13 hearings set aside lasting until at least August.

The executives have been accused of giving misleading evidence to judges in one of the suits brought by the late media magnate Leo Kirch against the bank.

Leo Kirch, who died aged 84 in 2011, had accused Deutsche Bank of causing the downfall of his media empire in 2002 when the bank’s then chief executive, Breuer, publicly questioned the group’s creditworthiness in a television interview.

Prosecutors accuse 66-year-old Fitschen - who has headed Germany’s biggest bank alongside Anshu Jain since 2012 - and the other defendants of giving false testimony with the aim of having Kirch’s lawsuit dismissed.

In the past, the bank has rejected the charges as unfounded.

But the charges against all five men are of an aggravated nature and so can carry a prison sentence of anywhere between six months and 10 years if guilty.

In the cases of Boersig and von Hedebreck, who had acted as witnesses in the Kirch trial, the two are accused of making unsworn false statements, which carry jail sentences of between three months and five years.
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