The agenda for the eighth day of a trial against current and former Deutsche Bank executives appeared unspectacular at first, but then the ex-chief executive of Germany’s largest bank decided to speak.
The testimony of Josef Ackermann, Deutsche Bank’s CEO between 2002 and 2012, turned into a verbal broadside against Guido Kotschy, the judge presiding over Deutsche Bank’s €925 million, or $1 billion, civil settlement last year with the heirs of Germany’s once-powerful Kirch media group.
Mr. Ackermann and four other managers, including current Deutsche Bank co-CEO Jürgen Fitschen, are accused of colluding to mislead a previous court about the events leading to the 2002 bankruptcy of Kirch Media. Founder Leo Kirch accused and sued the bank for having a hand in his company’s collapse. The bankers and Deutsche Bank have repeatedly denied the charges.