Ackermann Loses Bid to Stop Kirch Heirs’ Use of Probe Files

Former Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann lost a bid to prevent a company linked to the late Leo Kirch’s media group from using documents it obtained from prosecutors.

Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court rejected the request without specifying its reasons, Bernd Odoerfer, the tribunal’s spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement today.

Munich prosecutors disclosed documents to KGL Pool after a local court rejected an attempt by the bank and two former chief executive officers, Rolf Breuer and Ackermann, to keep the documents private. Ackermann argued the decision to share the files violates his privacy rights, including data-protection principles.

Ackermann’s lawyer, Hellen Schilling, declined to comment on the ruling because the judges didn’t provide any reasons for it.

KGL Pool may try to use the information in a civil lawsuit against Deutsche Bank where it’s seeking 2 billion euros ($2.8 billion). The case is one of several by Kirch heirs over claims the lender caused the collapse of Leo Kirch’s media group.

The documents stem from a criminal probe of current and former executives of Deutsche Bank. Co-Chief Executive Officer Juergen Fitschen is being investigated along with Ackermann, Breuer and others over whether they gave accurate testimony in the civil suit. The Frankfurt-based bank and its executives have denied wrongdoing.

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 in that case and is awaiting a ruling on the bid.

Plaintiffs often aren’t allowed to obtain documents in civil cases in Germany, so they may try to gather documents from criminal probes.

Today’s case is: BVerfG, 2 BvR 2657/13.

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