Under the agreement, Breuer will avoid being formally convicted of a crime. Paying a monetary settlement to avoid prosecution is common in Germany when prosecutors worry their case may be difficult to prove. Approximately €250,000 of the settlement will go to the government, with €100,000 being allocated to non-profit groups.
Judge Anton Winkler said a settlement was “the most sensible solution,” given the complexities involved in the case.
The criminal case centres around a statement Breuer made during a Munich court appearance in 2003. He told the court that he didn’t have any inside information about Leo Kirch’s creditworthiness before a controversial 2002 television interview in which he suggested lenders wouldn’t offer the media mogul more cash. But prosecutors charged in 2009 that Breuer had seen information from the bank and was attempting to mislead the court.
Breuer’s testimony in court came as part of a complex series of lawsuits filed years ago by Kirch, a media magnate who built a vast empire before declaring bankruptcy in 2002. He died earlier this year.
Before his death, Kirch sued Breuer and Deutsche Bank for more than €3 billion, charging that negative statements made about Kirch’s credit-worthiness – especially by Breuer during the 2002 interview – had led to his downfall.
Civil cases are ongoing and authorities raided Deutsche Bank offices last month on suspicion that other executives have proffered false testimony.