Germany is often stereotyped as a country full of rules and regulations, but when it comes to internal investigations and settlement negotiations with prosecutors almost anything goes.
Bremen prosecutors are investigating fresh bribery allegations against a joint venture between defence manufacturers Airbus and ThyssenKrupp, including claims that senior compliance staff at the companies knew about corruption but failed to act.
German defence company Atlas Elektronik has argued to the Bremen Prosecutor’s Office that the authority’s foreign bribery case against the company falls outside the five-year statute of limitations, GIR understands.
The Frankfurt Prosecutor’s Office is investigating German football association officials on suspicion of tax evasion linked to allegations that they bribed Fifa representatives because Germany’s statute of limitations prevent the authorities from opening a corruption probe.
In Germany, the majority of corporate settlements with prosecutors, including those demanding multimillion-euro fines, are never disclosed to the public. GIR finds out how companies achieve confidential settlements.
The Hannover Prosecutor’s Office is examining whether it has jurisdiction over a corruption case, after German tyre company Continental sacked China-based sales management staff following an internal investigation into a “compliance violation”.
ThyssenKrupp and Ferrostaal have denied fresh bribery allegations published in Handelsblatt, which claims thousands of leaked internal documents, including interrogation records from a Debevoise & Plimpton internal probe, show a jointly owned subsidiary of both companies made suspicious payments in Turkey and Indonesia.
Germany vigorously prosecutes white-collar crime, and so many of the country’s law firms have built impressive investigations practices to aid companies caught in the government’s crosshairs.
The Frankfurt Prosecutor’s Office has opened a preliminary criminal investigation into allegations of Libor manipulation at Deutsche Bank, a spokesperson for the office has said.
In an interview with GIR, Frankfurt prosecutors Albrecht Schreiber and Markus Weimann tell lawyers to stop handing over worthless interview notes in an attempt to cooperate, and hit back at claims that they lack the resources to investigate cases.
Compliance and investigations lawyer Eike Bicker has joined Gleiss Lutz as an associated partner in Frankfurt.