A Munich judge said prosecutors pursuing Deutsche Bank executives in a year-old criminal trial related to the collapse of Leo Kirch’s media empire have failed to prove the charges as the proceedings move to the final stages.
“This trial so far has shown that the allegations are unfounded,” Presiding Judge Peter Noll said shortly before closing arguments started Tuesday. The court rejected prosecutors’ request for more searches, saying they would be unlikely to produce new findings in a dispute that stretches back more than a decade.
Bloomberg News reports that years of investigations and raids hadn’t produced evidence to back the attempted fraud charges and additional searches aren’t likely to strengthen the case against Co-Chief Executive Officer Juergen Fitschen, former CEOs Josef Ackermann and Rolf Breuer and two other former officials, Noll said Tuesday.
“Prosecutors are ignoring the results," Noll said in an unusually aggressive tone. Prosecutors have kept the court busy for weeks with motions for new evidence, forcing additional hearings where Noll made skeptical remarks about the merits of the case.
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