He was a consultant to Wirecard and initiated contact with the Chancellery: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has now been asked about a trip to China in the investigative committee.
Ex-Economics Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has defended his role as an external advisor to Wirecard and sees himself as a victim in the financial scandal. His consulting firm Spitzberg Partners is neither a public prosecutor nor an auditor, said the 49-year-old on Thursday in Berlin. At no time did his company have knowledge of balance sheet fraud or money laundering by the former Dax group. “That was just inconceivable.”
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg: The former minister comes to the Wirecard committee meeting with a mouth and nose cover. (Source: Kay Nietfeld / dpa)
The billion dollar scandal completely surprised him. His company had limited knowledge and learned of the fraud as late as the public.
Guttenberg: “Wirecard has deceived us all”
With today’s knowledge, he would not have campaigned for the payment processor, said the former CSU politician. However, the company has received unqualified auditors’ certificates for over ten years. “Wirecard has deceived us all.”
Guttenberg had informed the German government about the planned market entry of Wirecard in China and asked them to support the plans benevolently. Chancellor Angela Merkel then campaigned for Wirecard on a trip to China in September 2019. It is normal on such trips to stand up for German companies, she said in the Bundestag on Wednesday.
Wirecard went bankrupt in June after air bookings worth billions became known. The public prosecutor’s office investigates, among other things, falsification of accounts, fraud, market manipulation and money laundering. It is one of the biggest financial scandals of the post-war period.