Prosecutors seek charges vs. Deutsche Bank co-CEO

Juergen Fitschen, co-head of Deutsche Bank
Sean Gallup | Getty Images
Juergen Fitschen, co-head of Deutsche Bank

German prosecutors are seeking charges against Deutsche Bank co-CEO Juergen Fitschen and several former executives at the bank in connection with the long-running Kirch bankruptcy case, legal sources said on Tuesday.

Prosecutors have been investigating whether Fitschen, his predecessors Josef Ackermann and Rolf Breuer, and others gave misleading evidence in a civil suit, brought by heirs of the late media magnate Leo Kirch, which ended in February after 12 years of legal wrangling.

A Munich court must now decide whether to accept the case and press charges, a decision expected to take several months.

Deutsche Bank said it had received no written notice of the prosecutor's decision.

"Deutsche Bank fundamentally does not comment on ongoing cases and points to earlier statements that the bank is convinced that any suspicion against Juergen Fitschen will be shown to be unfounded," the bank said in a written statement.

Fitschen and Anshu Jain, the former head of Deutsche's investment bank, took over as co-CEOs in 2012. News that prosecutors are seeking charges against Fitschen comes as Germany's largest bank struggles with a series of legal problems and works to meet strict new capital requirements from regulators.

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Fitschen's personal lawyer declined to comment, as did the lawyers representing former CEOs Ackermann and Breuer.

A spokeswoman for the court also declined to comment.

The Munich prosecutors' office said it had concluded its investigation but declined to comment further.

"Due to legal reasons we cannot issue a statement until all the parties have been properly informed about the process," the prosecutor said in a statement.