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Cum-ex scandal: Warburg Bank files constitutional complaint against BGH ruling

2021-10-22T17:23:02.453Z

The Warburg Bank is under pressure after the Cum-Ex ruling by the Federal Court of Justice - and is trying to save its image with a constitutional complaint. The ruling violated the bankers' right to a fair trial.



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Warburg Bank in Hamburg: According to the BGH, it has to repay 176 million euros

Photo: Axel Heimken / dpa

In July, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) confirmed a ruling by the Bonn Regional Court against two ex-stock exchange traders from London and thus for the first time established the criminality of so-called cum-ex transactions by the highest court.

Now the Hamburg Warburg Bank involved in the affair and its owners Max Warburg and Christian Olearius have lodged a constitutional complaint against the Karlsruhe judgment.

Warburg and Olearius were thereby violated in their rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights, said lawyer Peter Gauweiler before the parliamentary committee of inquiry of the Hamburg citizenship.

Therefore, a complaint was submitted to the Federal Constitutional Court on Thursday.

In the judgment, the bank owners had been denied the basic right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence, since in particular with regard to Olearius "final stipulations on his alleged criminal liability" had been contained without this having previously been established in a constitutional process, said Gauweiler .

The BGH had ruled that the tax evasion offense had been met in the case of cum-ex transactions, and it also confirmed that the Warburg Bank had to repay more than 176 million euros.

more on the subject

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  • Scholz in the Cum-Ex investigation committee: The man without memory by Annette Großbongardt

  • Money laundering raid in the Ministry of Finance: "Are the Germans a nation of financial tricksters, Mr. Schick?" An interview by Martin Hesse

In the meantime, the Hamburg bank had already settled the claims without an admission of guilt, as the bank had always emphasized.

She had also announced that she would continue to take action against the tax assessments.

Dispute over house searches

In their complaint to the Federal Constitutional Court, the bank and its owners are now demanding the annulment of the BGH judgment and referral back to the Federal Court of Justice, as Gauweiler said.

Representatives of the Warburg Bank also called for the North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of Justice Peter Biesenbach (CDU) to be summoned to the investigative committee.

It must be clarified how the house searches initiated by the Cologne Public Prosecutor and "announced in the media parallel to this" came about in Hamburg at the end of September, said Gauweiler.

Two days after the general election, the apartment of the former SPD member of the Bundestag Johannes Kahr and the premises of the Hamburg tax authorities were searched.

According to the public prosecutor's office in Cologne, the operation took place in connection with investigations into the initial suspicion of beneficiaries in connection with "cum-ex" transactions.

In addition to Kahrs, the former Hamburg Senator for the Interior Alfons Pawelczyk (SPD) and the tax officer responsible for the Warburg Bank are also being investigated.

According to the Ministry of Justice in Düsseldorf, the investigations by the Cologne public prosecutor's office had initially been stopped by the Cologne public prosecutor's office due to concerns.

The public prosecutor then approached the ministry with a request for an examination, which confirmed the initial suspicion.

Gauweiler pointed out that Kahrs, Pawelczyk and the tax officer are being led as witnesses by the investigative committee, which is supposed to clarify the possible influence of leading SPD politicians on the tax treatment of the Warburg Bank. He indicated that the searches were intended to influence the work. It is therefore "essential" that Justice Minister Biesenbach, the Cologne public prosecutor and the public prosecutor testify before the committee.

In the controversial “cum-ex” transactions, investors quickly pushed shares with (“cum”) and without (“ex”) dividend entitlements between several participants around the dividend cut-off date.

They let the papers circulate among themselves until the tax authorities no longer knew who they belonged to.

The tax offices reimbursed more taxes than they had previously collected.

In 2012 the tax loophole was closed.

apr / dpa

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-10-22

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