A longstanding legal dispute with the Kirch heirs could become even more expensive for Deutsche Bank. The scandal has already cost the bank about €1 billion ($1.33 billion) in settlement payments, legal fees, an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting and a double audit. Now another million could be added to the list.
The public prosecutor’s office in Munich wants the lender to participate in criminal proceedings as a secondary party against current co-chief executive Jürgen Fitschen and former bank executives, sources in financial circles said on Monday. The prosecutor’s office, the Munich regional court and Deutsche Bank were unwilling to comment.
Media entrepreneur Leo Kirch had sued the bank and former chief executive Rolf-E. Breuer for damages in 2002, after Mr. Breuer had questioned Mr. Kirch’s creditworthiness in an interview. Although both sides signed a settlement agreement at the beginning of the year, prosecutors recently filed a complaint for attempted fraud with the Munich regional court.
Mr. Fitschen, Mr. Breuer and former chief executive Josef Ackermann, former supervisory board chairman Clemens Börsig and former chief administrative officer Tessen von Heydebreck were allegedly involved in a conspiracy to ward off Kirch’s claims. The defendants deny the allegations. It remains unclear whether the court will allow the indictment against all the executives.