S-Bahn managers face criminal probe

S-Bahn managers face criminal probe
Photo: DPA
Berlin state prosecutors are to extend their investigation into the mismanagement that led to the current chaos on the city’s S-Bahn public transport system, newspaper Berliner Morgenpost reported Sunday.

S-Bahn boss Tobias Heinemann and other members of the company’s executive board are accused of consistently ignoring train maintenance schedules and allowing damaged wagons to return to service unrepaired.

Should they be found guilty of endangering rail traffic, four former heads of the S-Bahn could face jail terms of up to five years.

Simone Herbeth, spokeswoman for Berlin’s justice department told the newspaper that the prosecutors first needed to decide if the managers’ actions constituted a deliberate violation, or whether they had simply “exhausted their margin of administrative discretion.”

State prosecutors are hoping that a report into the matter received from the Federal Railway Authority (EBA) will help to answer questions, but these documents are yet to be analysed. Herbeth said that a quick conclusion was unlikely.

The extension of the investigation suggests that prosecutors are beginning to widen their attention to other S-Bahn employees. “Should suspicion fall on other people, then of course further investigations will be initiated, but we are still in the very early stages,” Herbeth said.

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