German prosecutors refuse to investigate Chancellor in tax scandal – JURIST

German prosecutors on Tuesday refused to investigate German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for his involvement in a tax scandal. In an exclusive report to German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, prosecutors with the attorney general’s office said they found no evidence that Scholz aided or abetted anyone involved in Germany’s cum-ex scandal.

The scandal involved a stock-trading scheme in which investors manipulated a dividend tax loophole for multiple refunds – more than they would otherwise receive. The Warburg Bank allegedly received around 47 million euros in wrongfully obtained tax refunds.

The call to investigate Scholz originated in February when Hamburg lawyer Gerhard Strate filed a criminal complaint alleging Scholz aided and abetted tax evasion. Scholz reportedly met with Warburg Bank officials several times during his tenure as mayor of Hamburg and asserted his political clout to shield the bank from liability.

Strate’s criminal complaint alleged that Scholz, as the person empowered to administer the finances in Hamburg, should have recovered the 47 million euros wrongly received from Warburg. In the letter obtained by Der Tagesspiegel, however, prosecutors said they found “no real indications sufficient to suspect that alleged tax evasion by Warburg Bank was knowingly or intentionally promoted by officials of the financial administration of Hamburg”.

Although the attorney general’s office declined to investigate Scholz, an investigation is ongoing into the ex-cum scandal by the Cologne prosecutor. Next week, Scholz is expected to testify in Cologne about his knowledge of the emails and more than 200,000 euros found in a safe belonging to another politician involved in the scandal.

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