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24.06.2015

15:59 Uhr

Kirch Media

In Deutsche Bank Trial, Project 'Barolo' Emerges

VonKerstin Leitel and Kevin O'Brien

The trial of five Deutsche Bank executives that focuses on the the 2002 collapse of the Kirch Media empire had fallen off the media radar until Tuesday, when a former employee in court said the bank had given its client's potential breakup a code name: Barolo.

Alter und neuer Vorstandschef der Deutschen Bank, Josef Ackermann (vorn) und Jürgen Fitschen. dpa

Deutsche Bank

Alter und neuer Vorstandschef der Deutschen Bank, Josef Ackermann (vorn) und Jürgen Fitschen.

The trial in a Munich courtroom, now closing out its second month, of five Deutsche Bank executives accused of colluding to mislead a previous court about the events leading to the 2002 bankruptcy of a German media company is playing out like a Bavarian passion play of capitalist excess.

The issues are universal: Wealth, power, crisis and, in the end, failure. The only question is how the script against three accused Deutsche Bank chief executives and two former board members will end.

The trial of the bankers' alleged involvement in the the 2002 collapse of one of its highly indebted clients, Kirch Media, had largely fallen off the German media's radar in recent weeks.

But on Tuesday, the dry legal proceeding made news again with testimony from a former Deutsche Bank worker who revealed the bank in 2002 had given a code name to the potential collapse and break up of Kirch Media, the event at the heart of the case. The bank's code name, he said, was "Barolo.''

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