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Deutsche Bank co-CEO charged in Kirch case: report


Deutsche Bank co-Chief Executive Juergen Fitschen speaks during the Bundesbank Banking Congress "Symposium on Financial Stability and the Role of Central Banks" in Frankfurt in this February 28, 2014 file photo. German prosecutors are seeking charges against Fitschen and several former executives at the bank in connection with the long-running Kirch bankruptcy case, legal sources said on August 12, 2014. Photo - Reuters

One of Deutsche Bank's co-heads, Juergen Fitschen, has been charged with attempted fraud linked to the bank's long-running legal battle with the Kirch media group, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

Quoting sources close to the matter, the daily said that prosecutors in Munich also indicted the former chief executives of Germany's biggest lender, Rolf Breuer and Josef Ackermann, as well as former executives Clemens Boersig and Tessen von Heydebreck.

The executives are accused of lying to judges in one of the suits brought by the late media magnate Leo Kirch against the bank in a long-running legal battle.

The charges have been sent to the court, which must formally notify the accused, the newspaper said.
Contacted by AFP, a spokesman for the prosecutors said that the three-year investigation had now been completed, but declined to reveal any conclusions.

Under German law, prosecutors must first inform the parties concerned before making any information public.

The regional court in Munich also declined to confirm the information contained in the newspaper report.

For its part, Deutsche Bank said that it had so far not seen any formal charges.

"From a fundamental point of view, Deutsche Bank does not comment on cases that are still ongoing and it refers to early statements where it is convinced that the accusations against Juergen Fitschen will prove to be unfounded," the bank said.

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 CEO, Breuer, public questioned the group's creditworthiness in a television interview.

In February, Deutsche Bank announced it would pay nearly one billion euros to settle the case.

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