Hamburg prosecutors see no evidence to suspect Scholz in tax evasion scandal


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attends a summer press conference in Berlin, Germany August 11, 2022. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

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BERLIN, Aug 16 (Reuters) – German prosecutors in Hamburg said on Tuesday they had so far seen no reason to investigate Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whom lawyers have accused of aiding and abetting the tax evasion in one of the largest fraud investigations in Germany.

A spokesperson for the attorney general confirmed reports in German media, including the daily Tagesspiegel and broadcaster n-tv, that the office had dismissed a complaint filed in February seeking to open criminal proceedings against Scholz.

“Reports (that there is no evidence so far) are correct,” a spokesperson said, adding, however, that no decision on the matter had been made in recent days.

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Scholz has come under increasing scrutiny as part of the long-running “cum-ex” scandal, which dates back to his time as mayor of the northern port city of Hamburg. Read more

The scandal is Germany’s biggest post-war fraud involving a stock-trading scheme that authorities say has cost taxpayers billions of euros.

The practice studied, known as cum-ex, typically involved rapidly trading shares of companies around a syndicate of banks, investors and hedge funds to create the impression of many owners, each entitled to a tax refund.

Asked about his role last week, Scholz denied any wrongdoing and said he had no idea how more than 200,000 euros was found in a party colleague’s safe. Read more

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Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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