Prosecutor Closes Investigations Against FT Journalists

Investigative reporter for the “Financial Times” as vicarious agent for speculators? This suspicion could not be confirmed – it still had far-reaching consequences.

It was a big political issue, and it had a significant impact on public perception in the Wirecard scandal: In April 2019, the financial supervisory authority Bafin formulated a remarkable criminal complaint and sent it to the public prosecutor in Munich. A few weeks earlier, the Financial Times had published a series of articles in which two reporters reported suspicion that Wirecard employees in Asia might have falsified balance sheets.

Wirecard’s share price plummeted after the publications, and that seemed suspicious to the Bafin: Did journalists do something together with hedge funds that had bet on falling prices? That fit exactly with Wirecard’s defense strategy, the company continuously presented itself as a victim of speculators. And two reporters were suddenly there as the accused.

The Munich public prosecutor announced on Thursday that the allegations against the two could not be proven. The investigation into market manipulation against FT reporter Dan McCrum and a colleague, which has been going on for a year and a half, has been discontinued. A spokeswoman for the investigating authority said that “no sufficient evidence (…) could have been established to support the suspicious facts raised by the Bafin”. The reporting was fundamentally correct and “at least from the point of view of the information available at the time, neither false nor misleading” – Wirecard had chosen such words in its comments on the FT’s reporting. There are also no indications that the accused “deliberately disclosed the content and time of their reports to third parties”.

Reviewer overview

Prosecutor Closes Investigations Against FT journalists - /10

Summary

Investigative reporter for the "Financial Times" as vicarious agent for speculators? This suspicion could not be confirmed - it still had far-reaching consequences.

0 Bad!