German prosecutors decline to investigate chancellor in tax scandal
German prosecutors decline to investigate chancellor in tax scandal

German prosecutors Tuesday declined to investigate German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for his involvement in a tax scandal. In an exclusive report to German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, prosecutors from 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 consisted of a share-trading scheme in which investors manipulated a dividend tax loophole for multiple reimbursements—more than they would otherwise receive. Warburg Bank allegedly received around 47 million euros in wrongfully obtained tax rebates.

The call to investigate Scholz originated in February when Hamburg lawyer Gerhard Strate filed a criminal complaint claiming Scholz aided and abetted tax evasion. Scholz allegedly met with Warburg Bank officials on multiple occasions during his tenure as mayor of Hamburg and asserted his political influence to shield the bank from liability.

Strate’s criminal complaint alleged that Scholz, as someone with authority to administer finances in Hamburg, should have reclaimed the wrongly received 47 million euros from Warburg. In the letter obtained by Der Tagesspiegel, however, prosecutors said they found no “sufficient actual indications for the suspicion that an alleged tax evasion by the Warburg Bank was knowingly or intentionally promoted by those responsible for the Hamburg financial administration.”

Though the Attorney General’s office refused to investigate Scholz, there is an ongoing investigation into the cum-ex scandal by the Cologne Public Prosecutor. Next week, Scholz is supposed to testify in Cologne to his knowledge of emails and over 200,000 euros found in a safe deposit box belonging to another politician involved in the scandal.