Investigations into Cum-Ex: Mails from Scholz' office manager searched

When investigating the Warburg Bank's cum-ex transactions, the Cologne public prosecutor's office also checked an e-mail inbox belonging to Chancellor Scholz's office manager.

Investigations into Cum-Ex: Mails from Scholz' office manager searched

When investigating the Warburg Bank's cum-ex transactions, the Cologne public prosecutor's office also checked an e-mail inbox belonging to Chancellor Scholz's office manager. According to a report by "Stern", a suspicious email was found - it was about "considerations about deleting data".

In the course of their investigations into the cum-ex affair involving the Hamburg private bank M.M. Warburg, the Cologne public prosecutor's office targeted the mail traffic of a high-ranking employee in the Chancellery. As the "Stern" reports in its new issue, on April 21, 2022, investigators from North Rhine-Westphalia confiscated the e-mail inbox of Jeanette Schwamberger, Olaf Scholz's office manager and now one of the Chancellor's closest confidants. The "Stern" relies on documents from the judiciary in North Rhine-Westphalia, which are available to the magazine.

The confiscation of the electronic mailbox of the 47-year-old Scholz confidant is related to the investigations into the former SPD member of the Bundestag Johannes Kahrs and against the former Hamburg Deputy Mayor Alfons Pawelczyk and a Hamburg tax officer. It is about the cum-ex transactions of the Warburg Bank. The three accused are said to have helped the bank not to have to repay a tax debt of 47 million euros from criminal stock transactions.

In the affair, Scholz and Hamburg's Mayor Peter Tschentscher, both SPD, are also under pressure. An investigative committee of the Hamburg Parliament is currently investigating whether Scholz, as the first mayor, and Tschentscher, as his finance senator, exerted political influence to initially not reclaim the millions. Both Scholz and Tschentscher deny that. Scholz will be called to the committee a second time next Friday as a witness.

The Cologne district court approved the measures. In its search warrant, which is available to “Stern”, the court justifies the measures by saying that it could also contain relevant emails for preparing Scholz’s testimony in the parliamentary committee of inquiry into the Cum-Ex affair in Hamburg in April 2021. The measure is proportionate because of the enormous tax damage. The confiscation of the mailbox is about Schwamberger's time in the Federal Ministry of Finance. She was Scholz’s office manager there before moving to the Chancellery in the same capacity with him.

When searching the mailbox, the investigators came across an email that the Cologne public prosecutor classified as suspicious. It is about answering a question from the committee of inquiry about Scholz's appointments with Tschentscher, Pawelczyk and Kahrs. In addition to the Schwamberger mail, the public prosecutor's office evaluated other conspicuous messages in electronic mailboxes and calendars from a number of Hamburg tax officials, senators and state councilors in a 78-page note from the end of June this year.

Under the subheading "The topic of data deletion", the public prosecutor's office writes: The following emails and calendar entries are "potentially relevant as evidence, since they suggest deliberations on deletion". The e-mail from Scholz's office manager is in second place in the public prosecutor's list.

Olaf Scholz announced that he was "neither involved in the calendar query nor in the sending of the calendar excerpts". His confidants Schmidt and Schwamberger would have taken care of that. A government spokeswoman assured: "There was no 'selection' of calendar dates."

You can find the complete article on stern.de or in the current "Stern" at the kiosk.

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