Wirecard Scandal: Germany Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier will be Interviewed
The parliamentary committee of inquiry into the Wirecard scandal has invited numerous top politicians as witnesses this week. Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier will be interviewed in a public session this Tuesday.
The CDU politician is invited as a witness because his ministry is responsible for the audit supervision Apas. The Apas are accused of negligence in the scandal surrounding the alleged fraud of Wirecard billions. The MPs now want to know from Altmaier why the Ministry of Economic Affairs was not more involved in the matter. Apas oversees auditors in Germany.
In the Wirecard case, EY auditors had approved financial statements for years and are confronted with the accusation of not looking closely enough.
“For a long time it was clear that not everything was going as it should at Wirecard,” said Kay Gottschalk (AfD), chairman of the Wirecard investigation committee.
Apas only intervened in May 2020 – a few weeks before the now insolvent former Dax group Wirecard admitted a balance sheet hole of 1.9 billion euros. The Munich public prosecutor assumes that the company has shown fictitious profits since 2015.
The scandal has already had consequences for the auditor oversight: Your boss was dismissed after admitting to the investigative committee that he had privately traded in shares in the scandalous company while the oversight authorities scrutinized the Wirecard auditors.
Digital State Minister Bär should also testify
The committee of inquiry has been questioning witnesses for about six months to uncover whether the fraud scandal could have been prevented at a political level. In addition to Altmaier, Digital State Minister Dorothee Bar (CSU) will testify on Tuesday. In 2018, she is said to have tried to arrange a meeting between ex-Wirecard boss Marcus Braun and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). However, the meeting did not take place.
The committee of inquiry into the Wirecard scandal has taken stock and speaks of success: The pressure has increased to reform the financial supervision. For some, this has had consequences, others have yet to face the committee.
In the course of the week, high-profile witnesses are expected: On Wednesday, in addition to Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD), State Secretary for Finance Jörg Kukies in particular. The opposition considers his role in the Wirecard case to be particularly questionable.
Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) was invited as a witness on Thursday. His finance ministry is responsible for the financial supervision Bafin, which also did not cut a good figure in the Wirecard scandal.
At the climax, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) will testify on Friday. She had campaigned for Wirecard during a trip to China – at a time when at least critical media reports about Wirecard were already known.
To begin with, Digital State Minister Dorothee Bar (CSU) and then Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) will be interviewed in a public session on Tuesday (from 2 p.m.).
Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) and Finance State Secretary Jörg Kukies are invited on Wednesday (12 noon).
Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) will have to answer questions on Thursday (10.30 a.m.).
Finally, on Friday, the committee members questioned Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) as a witness (9 a.m.).