Deutsche Bank: BGH confirms acquittals for ex-chiefs after church bankruptcy

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has confirmed the acquittals of the former Deutsche Bank bosses Rolf Breuer, Josef Ackermann and Jürgen Fitschen accused of attempted trial fraud. The judgment of the district court Munich I show no contradictions, gaps or wrong reasons. This is final. The former CEOs Rolf Breuer, Josef Ackermann and Jürgen Fitschen need fear no further prosecution.

The first criminal senate of the BGH evaluated the evidence assessment of the Munich judges as "carefully and thoroughly justified". The Federal Court of Justice had examined the verdict against the ex-manager for legal errors, raised as usual in revision processes but no own evidence. In this case, the Federal Prosecutor's Office should also be involved – and have demanded that the acquittals against ex-bankers be reviewed at an oral hearing.

Comparison over almost one billion euros

The case concerned fraud allegations. The prosecution had accused the ex-top managers to have testified incorrectly in a civil case – to save the Deutsche Bank from high payments. They had been accused of having denied in the process of the bankruptcy of the media entrepreneur Leo Kirch before the Higher Regional Court Munich, in order to prevent damages to Kirch. But the court saw no evidence for that.

Kirch had to file for bankruptcy in 2002. He had blamed Breuer and Deutsche Bank until his death in 2011. For the then CEO of Deutsche Bank had recently doubted in a television interview that someone else would give Kirch money. The bank has now compared with the church heirs and 925 million euros paid.

Background of the criminal case against Breuer, Ackermann and Fitschen was the old accusation that Breuer had deliberately wanted to shake Kirchs creditworthiness in order to secure benefits for Deutsche Bank. The public prosecutor's office had demanded for Breuer and Ackermann imprisonment for Fitschen a suspended sentence. Deutsche Bank should pay a fine.

In Munich, two other ex-top managers of the bank were accused. Their acquittals had already become final.

File number: 1 StR 219/17

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