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Deutsche Bank Employees Are Said to Seek Jail Release

The four Deutsche Bank AG employees in jail while being investigated for obstruction of justice and money laundering allegations have asked a German court to release them, two people familiar with the situation said.

The employees include the head of litigation at the bank and another member of the legal department who are being held over instructions given to information technology staff following a 2010 probe into tax issues, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak about the matter.

Prosecutors and police last week raided Deutsche Bank’s Frankfurt headquarters, arresting five employees, in a tax probe involving the sale of carbon-emission certificates. Prosecutors are looking at co-Chief Executive Officer Juergen Fitschen and Chief Financial Officer Stefan Krause, who signed tax returns related to value-added tax on the certificates.

One of the five arrested was released a day later for health reasons while the other four were ordered to stay in jail while the probe continues.

The latest motion, appealing last week’s ruling by a local court, will be heard by a chamber of the Frankfurt Regional Court which tried and convicted six suspects in the original carbon emission tax probe, the people said.

Prosecutors claim a phone call by the head of litigation prompted IT staff to delete e-mails at the bank related to the tax investigation and the second company lawyer helped him with that, the people said.

The local court ordered the four suspects, among them two IT employees and a manager responsible for anti-money laundering compliance, to stay in custody to prevent them from tampering with evidence, one of the people said.

Klaus Winker, a Deutsche Bank spokesman, didn’t immediately return a call after regular business hours seeking comment on employees’ request. The bank said yesterday it is probing the allegations that e-mails were destroyed.

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