When the Wirecard trial begins on December 8, the main question will be: Who is responsible for the scandal? Markus Braun, the long-time chief executive officer (CEO) of the Wirecard Group, and Oliver Bellenhaus, the managing director of a Wirecard subsidiary in Dubai, will have to answer critical questions!
Braun and Bellenhaus have been in custody for two and a half years. While Bellenhaus has been housed in the Stadelheim correctional facility from the beginning, Braun has only recently been transferred there from the Gablingen correctional facility. According to the judiciary, they want to ensure that the two men do not meet again until they are in the courtroom.
According to his defense, ex-CEO Markus Braun still sees himself as a victim of a gang around the fugitive ex-CEO Jan Marsalek. The latter had deceived him and diverted hundreds of millions from the Wirecard Group via various companies and convoluted constructions. Bellenhaus opted for a different tactic early on.
After the collapse of the Wirecard Group at the end of June 2020, he testified extensively at the Munich I public prosecutor’s office. Bellenhaus is considered a key witness by the investigating authority. His lawyer Florian Eder, who spoke in detail for the first time in an exclusive interview with BR, says: “He played a part in the Wirecard system. He has accordingly also brought guilt upon himself. It was just a closed caste, and he will make that relatively clear again in the first days of the trial.”
“Serious accusations are in the room. The Munich I public prosecutor’s office accuses Braun and Bellenhaus of misrepresenting the Wirecard balance sheets since 2015.”
In addition, according to the indictment completed in March this year, they are accused of market manipulation, breach of trust, and professional gang fraud. Also charged is Wirecard’s former chief accountant. Jan Marsalek remains in hiding. Local authorities suspect him to be in Russia. Not least, Marsalek’s connections in intelligence services have pushed the boundaries of what is conceivable at a DAX company.