German deputies face the silence of the boss of Wirecard

Posted on Nov 19, 2020 at 6:28 PMUpdated Nov 19, 2020 6:43 PM

Started remotely a few days ago, the standoff continued Thursday between the nine German deputies of the parliamentary commission of inquiry and the former director general of Wirecard. Markus Braun had been against his will transferred the day before under judicial protection in Berlin from the prison of Augsburg, 70 kilometers west of Munich.

Entered from the back of the room to avoid the cameras, he had to answer questions from elected officials responsible for shedding light on the political and supervisory flaws that caused the country’s biggest financial scandal. MEPs wanted to confront him directly in order to get a personal idea, based on the reactions and body language of the former German electronic payments giant.

The elected far-left Fabio De Masi, has also asked him to move his microphone barring his face in order to see him better. Faced with the media enthusiasm for this first appearance since his imprisonment in July, two rooms had been reserved and connected by video to welcome the press in compliance with the hygiene rules related to the coronavirus.

Self-proclaimed victim

The ace ! The usual turtleneck and black jacket, straight face, Markus Braun introduced himself as a “Specialist in business information systems”. He then read a text of a few pages to explain his refusal to answer questions. According to him, an investigation is being carried out by the Munich court of justice, which he assured of its cooperation. “Independent judges will decide who bears legal responsibility for the collapse of Wirecard AG”, concludes the self-proclaimed victim.

“In the meantime, I will not make comments outside of my statement”, he concludes, claiming the right to silence for witnesses to protect themselves from possible prosecution. Regarding the role of Angela Merkel’s government and the supervisory authorities in the scandal, he closes the door: “At no time have I made any decision or received any indication that the authorities, supervisory bodies or political leaders have not behaved in accordance with their duties or in any form whatsoever unfairly. This also applies to the supervisory board and to the auditors ”.

A new convocation is evoked

The ping-pong did take place, however, with MEPs bombarding Markus Braun with questions. But this one invariably answered, hands crossed, “I will not stray from my statement”. By pushing the exercise to the point of absurdity to the point of asking him, like Fabio De Masi, what is the title of his doctorate, or like the green deputy Danial Bayaz, if he had a subscription to the “Financial Times”, At the origin of the revelation of the affair, the deputies accumulated the evidence of the ill will of their witness in order to be able to threaten him with an additional prison sentence.

But “This is not the last act”, anticipated the elected FDP, Florian Toncar after the hearing. Markus Braun could be summoned again after his testimony before the Munich prosecutor. In his opening statement, the boss of Wirecard in fact raised the possibility of ” complete “ his future declarations to justice.

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