Warburg shareholders go to court for human rights

The shareholders of the Hamburg Warburg Bank, Max Warburg and Christian Olearius, feel that their human rights have been violated in the face of several legal proceedings in the “Cum-Ex” scandal and are therefore taking them to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Warburg shareholders go to court for human rights

The shareholders of the Hamburg Warburg Bank, Max Warburg and Christian Olearius, feel that their human rights have been violated in the face of several legal proceedings in the “Cum-Ex” scandal and are therefore taking them to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The Strasbourg-based court accepted a corresponding “individual complaint” from Olearius and Warburg “for the main examination,” said the lawyer for the two, Peter Gauweiler, on Thursday. A spokesman for the court confirmed when asked that Olearius and Warburg "have filed an application against Germany and that the proceedings are currently pending".

According to Gauweiler, the court is now entering the actual proceedings. He had asked the Federal Republic of Germany to comment and would, if necessary, order an oral hearing. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is not an EU court but was set up by the member states of the Council of Europe.

The aim of the human rights complaint is that a judgment by the Bonn Regional Court in 2020 and a decision by the Federal Court of Justice in 2021 “Dr. Olearius and Warburg had been violated in their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights because of their excessive and prejudiced determinations. Specifically, Gauweiler cites Article 6 (fair trial) and Article 8 (personal rights). Because, according to Gauweiler, “towards Dr. Olearius and Warburg have repeatedly been accused of guilt in connection with "cum-ex" transactions from 2007 to 2011, although neither were ever even heard by a German court."

In the aforementioned Bonn judgment, the first accused in Germany, two ex-stockbrokers from London, were convicted of "cum-ex" stock transactions. The BGH had largely confirmed this a good year later. For the first time, it was made clear by the highest court that stock traders, investors and banks have cheated the German tax authorities out of billions for years with opaque "cum-ex" transactions and have thus made themselves punishable.

However, Olearius and Warburg were not charged in these proceedings. They had already argued before the Federal Constitutional Court that their personal rights had been violated, but failed. "The human rights complaint before the ECtHR is directed against this as well," said Gauweiler.

In Hamburg, a parliamentary committee of inquiry is running into the cum-ex complex and possible interference in a tax procedure. The next witness to be heard here on August 19 is Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). It should be examined to what extent he, as mayor at the time, had an influence on the statute of limitations for a possible tax liability, which Scholz denies.

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