Wirecard: Public prosecutor’s office raises serious allegations against Markus Braun

The public prosecutor in Munich apparently considers the ex-Wirecard boss Markus Braun to be highly involved in the criminal machinations that led to the collapse of the financial services group. According to the current state of the investigation, the Austrian has acted “within the gang as a control and steering body,” writes the senior public prosecutor Hildegard Bäumler-Hösl in an email that SPIEGEL received and sent to the parliamentary committee of inquiry in Berlin who wants to clarify the political background of the financial scandal. Braun’s lawyer rejects all accusations made by the public prosecutor.

Braun had “built a system based on the principle of ‘divide and rule'”, which was characterized by a comradely military corps spirit and oaths of loyalty to one another, “says the document that was sent on Tuesday. The mail is related to the summons of Braun and two other imprisoned ex-managers of Wirecard. Braun had against his transfer to Berlin Bundesgerichtshof sued and lost in an emergency ruling. However, the public prosecutor’s office had also had concerns about transporting the remand prisoners to the capital.

Be concerned about threats and intimidation

In the email, the prosecutor from Munich explains to the committee secretariat the security concerns that are being seen for the prisoners. Because one of the main suspects, the ex-Wirecard board member Jan Marsalek, is still on the run and obviously has good contacts in intelligence circles in various countries. The public prosecutor’s office, so the email can be read, is evidently concerned about threats and intimidation – not against Braun, but against another manager who was supposed to appear on the committee in Berlin and who has already testified against Braun and Marsalek as a key witness.

The key witness was “the only one who decided to fully cooperate with the public prosecutor,” writes the prosecutor. He had “bluntly” admitted his own involvement and “seriously incriminated” both Braun and another board member. That is why one does not want these three people to meet in the German Bundestag. “Against this background, any contact, even if only eye contact, would be dangerous for the investigation.” The key witness was a “traitor” for them, said Bäumler-Hösl in the email.

“Made use of the structure shaped by motivation and psychological pressure”

The document gives a surprisingly deep insight into the findings of the Munich investigators, especially about Markus Braun. This had given “strategic instructions and specific business actions”. “When there were signs of deviating from the common plan, he (together with Marsalek) acted on the others and made use of the structure characterized by motivation and psychological pressure,” says Bäumler-Hösl.

For the parliamentarians, this letter is a good basis for their questioning of the former Wirecard boss. But he should make use of his right to remain silent because he is only heard as a witness in the committee. Therefore, the questioning of Braun, for which a high logistical effort of the judicial authorities will be necessary, could be over quickly. The parliamentarians in the committee that will meet on Thursday also fear this.

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