Deutsche Bank co-Chief Executive Officer Juergen Fitschen and four former bank officials were acquitted of charges that they lied to judges during a decade-long dispute with a German media mogul.
Bloomberg News reports that the men were cleared after almost one year of trial at a Munich court Monday. The charges against defendants including former CEOs Josef Ackermann and Rolf Breuer had been questioned by Presiding Judge Peter Noll for weeks.
The verdict is another setback for German prosecutors in a high-profile white-collar criminal trial. Last month, former Porsche Chief Executive Officer Wendelin Wiedeking and ex-Chief Financial Officer Holger Haerter were cleared by a Stuttgart court of charges they manipulated Volkswagen shares during a failed 2008 takeover.
"At the beginning there were certainly clear suspicions of wrongdoing, so it was legitimate to bring the charges and hold the trial according to the rule of law," Noll said. "No one needs be ashamed about that. But after one year of trial they couldn’t be confirmed."
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