Corruption in Germany: Cum-Ex chief investigator quits

The chief investigator in the so-called Cum-Ex scandal, Anne Brorhilker, has thrown in the towel. Although effective prosecution is necessary given the damage "in the billions", "nevertheless it was and is the case that there is no central responsibility," she expressed her frustration in an interview with WDR . “There remains a fragmentation of responsibilities.”

Brorhilker complained that financial crime could not be effectively combated in Germany. “The basic problem remains that perpetrators with a lot of money and influence encounter a weak judiciary that cannot deal with them,” emphasized the senior public prosecutor. “Then we have the conclusion: the small ones are hanged, the big ones are let go.” There would be a lack of everything, although billions of dollars in money could flow back into the state treasury, complained the lawyer.

Attempts at sabotage by the NRW Justice Minister?

According to WDR information, Brorhilker asked to be released from his civil service position. However, the fifty-year-old ruled out that an attempt to disempower NRW Justice Minister Benjamin Limbach (Greens) was the reason for her departure. Limbach is said to have tried to restructure the successful authority. The minister is also accused of delaying inquiries from the Hamburg investigative committee into the cum-ex scandal.

In so-called cum-ex transactions, stock investors carry out short sales before the dividend distribution date, which results in multiple refunds of capital gains tax. The Hamburg private bank MM Warburg was also involved in the transactions, which is why the tax office demanded around 47 million euros in back taxes in 2016.

For reasons that have not yet been clarified, the authority later dropped the claim. In between, the then Warburg boss Christian Olearius and the then First Mayor of Hamburg and current Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) are said to have met. Scholz says he cannot remember the content of the conversations.

Brorhilker announced that she would be working with the “Citizens' Movement Financial Transition” association in the future. The organization is led by former Green Party member of the Bundestag Gerhard Schick and advocates left-wing financial policy.

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