The charge is "completely unacceptable" to him, former chief executive hans berger told the 8. Gross criminal division of the hamburger district court. His former colleague on the board, jochen friedrich, declared: "i still consider my decision to be correct, even after reading the indictment, which is in large part uplifting."The defense attorneys of the defendants bernhard visker and peter rieck also "emphatically" rejected the accusations.
The public prosecutor's office accuses the six former board members of embezzlement in a particularly serious case. They had not carefully weighed the opportunities and risks in the complex "omega 55" deal in december 2007 and thus caused a loss of 158 million euros. Two of the defendants are also accused of accounting fraud, because the business was deliberately not correctly accounted for.
Berger is the only one of the defendants to use the opportunity to give a comprehensive account of his view of the events. With "omega 55" the management board had responded to the challenges of the capital market in the fall of 2007 and implemented the specifications of the supervisory board. "It was not a solo effort by the board," berger affirmed. The bank had accumulated too much credit business at the time, which had burdened the balance sheet. The institute had been endowed with too little equity capital, some of which had been of inferior quality as a "silent partnership contribution.
The goal of the bank and the owner was the borsengang at that time. However, there was the threat of a downgrade by the rating agencies. For this reason, the management board had taken countermeasures and approved a total of ten transactions with a volume of 17 billion euros and a relief effect of 12.6 billion euros on the balance sheet.
Until the presentation of the loan application for the "omega 55" transaction on 19. December 2007 he had no information about the fraud, berger said. As there were two legally binding signatures of board members under the board template, he assessed his added signature as "acknowledgement". "Otherwise, an urgent resolution would be ineffective. That's how i still see it today," said berger.
Former capital market board member friedrich still considers his dismissal in december 2009 "incomprehensible and unacceptable". He had all the information he needed to make a correct and responsible decision before the "omega" loan application, friedrich said.
The ex-chief financial officer and later head of HSH dirk jens nonnenmacher also spoke out for the first time – about himself. He essentially described his professional career and emphasized that, as HSH's head of finance, he had not been responsible for risk controlling. He was only involved in loan transactions. All members of the board of management emphasized the careful review of the proposal by the bank's specialist and legal departments.
The criminal division had rejected an occupation riot of the court by the defenders as well as a questionnaire about the possible bias of the judges. Next wednesday the questioning of witnesses is to begin. Presiding judge marc tully announced that the chamber would review the case "in a very detailed way.
Trial dates are scheduled until next year. Tully, however, also expressed the hope that the chamber could move a little faster if the defendants were willing to engage in dialogue and undisputed facts were cleared up quickly. "This court is not out to get you, but to get close to the truth using the rules of criminal procedure," Tully said.