The former Frankfurt Mayor Feldmann is on trial because of his close ties to workers' welfare. The verdict will be announced on Friday. When he had his last word, the SPD politician's voice faltered.
Frankfurt/Main (dpa/lhe) - In the process of suspected acceptance of an advantage, the deposed Mayor of Frankfurt, Peter Feldmann (SPD), has again protested his innocence. "I didn't buy anything and I'm not corrupt," said the SPD politician on Wednesday before the Frankfurt district court in his last word as a defendant. The 64-year-old said he was hoping for an acquittal. The public prosecutor had demanded a fine totaling 31,500 euros. The verdict will be announced on Friday.
At the center of the proceedings is an overpaid job for Feldmann's then girlfriend and later wife at the head of a newly created German-Turkish daycare center run by Arbeiterwohlfahrt (Awo). It is also about support from the Awo in Feldmann's 2017/2018 election campaign. In return, according to the public prosecutor's office, the SPD politician is said to have been willing to behave benevolently as a politician towards the social association.
Feldmann said he did not unduly influence city politics. There is no email, no phone call, no letter and no text message with proof to the contrary. This is also what the testimonies showed.
Feldmann accused the public prosecutor of wanting to set an example. He is said to have benefited from his wife's excessive salary in the amount of around 5,000 euros. He later repaid any overpaid remuneration.
He had years of constant stress and nationwide polemics in the press behind him, said Feldmann. Above all, the investigation would have cost him his great job. In the event of a negative verdict, there is a risk of losing his pension.
Feldmann was voted out of office as mayor of Frankfurt in a referendum in November. At the end of 2019, publications about his wife's salary above the standard wage rate as head of the day-care center - the allegations also include a company car and a bogus mini-job at Awo - started the scandal surrounding allegations of fraud in the millions, which the Awo district associations in Wiesbaden and Frankfurt in shaken in recent years.
In his last word, the SPD politician apologized for very private statements to his daughters and his wife, from whom he is currently divorcing. The 64-year-old's voice stopped at times. In the process, he made a personal statement about an unwanted pregnancy and drew sharp criticism for it. "That went too far," said Feldmann about his statements, which his lawyer had read out on his behalf.