Ackermann Seeks Ban on Kirch Unit’s Use of Criminal-Probe FilesKarin Matussek
Former Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann asked Germany’s top court to ban a company linked to the former Leo Kirch media group from using documents it obtained from prosecutors.
Attorneys Eberhard Kempf and Helen Schilling filed a constitutional complaint after Munich prosecutors disclosed the documents to KGL Pool GmbH last week, Bernd Odoerfer, spokesman for the Federal Constitutional Court, said by phone today. They argued that the disclosure violates privacy rights, he said.
“The lawyers also asked for an emergency ruling to ban the Kirch side from using any of the documents in any way while the complaint is pending,” Odoerfer said. Schilling said in a phone interview that it was filed for Ackermann and declined to comment further.
Munich prosecutors disclosed documents to KGL Pool after a local court rejected a bid by the bank and two of its former chief executive officers, Rolf Breuer and Ackermann, to keep the documents private. While German criminal procedure rules don’t allow an appeal against the disclosure ruling, a constitutional complaint can be filed against any form of government action.
The documents stem from a criminal probe of current and former executives of Deutsche Bank. Co-Chief Executive Officer Juergen Fitschen is being investigated alongside Ackermann, Breuer and others over whether they gave accurate testimony in the civil suit. The Frankfurt-based bank and its executives have denied wrongdoing.
KGL Pool may try to use the information in a civil lawsuit against Deutsche Bank where it’s seeking 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion). Plaintiffs often aren’t allowed to obtain documents in civil cases in Germany, so they often try to gather information from criminal probes. The case is one of several by Kirch heirs over claims the lender caused the collapse of Leo Kirch’s media group.
In the KGL Pool suit, a Munich court found the bank liable for the collapse in a ruling last year. Deutsche Bank has asked Germany’s top civil court to hear an appeal and is awaiting a ruling on that bid.
Detlev Rahmsdorf, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank, declined to comment. Lawyers for the bank and Breuer didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.