Prosecutors search Deutsche Bank HQ over Kirch suit

FRANKFURT Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:06pm GMT

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Prosecutors have again searched the headquarters of Deutsche Bank, this time in connection with its legal battle with the estate of dead media mogul Leo Kirch, a week after a high-profile raid in a carbon tax probe.

Munich prosecutors searched Deutsche's headquarters on Wednesday, seizing documents but arresting no-one, a spokesman for the Munich prosecutor's office said on Thursday.

Deutsche confirmed the search, part of an investigation by Munich prosecutors into whether former chief executives Rolf Breuer and Josef Ackermann, among others, may have given false evidence in Kirch's decade-long lawsuit.

Deutsche also repeated its denial of any wrongdoing.

One eyewitness said Wednesday's search involved only a dozen or so officials, small compared with last week's carbon tax probe raid by Frankfurt prosecutors, in which 500 police and tax inspectors in three cities took part.

Co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen is being investigated as part of the Frankfurt prosecutors' probe and came under fire from German politicians from across the spectrum after calling a senior local politician to complain about last week's raid.

This week's search added to the difficulties for a bank grappling with a raft of legal headaches as well as major regulatory changes in the wake of the global banking crisis.

Munich prosecutors had already searched Deutsche's offices in the false evidence probe in November, 2011.

Kirch had claimed ex-Deutsche chief executive and later Chairman Breuer triggered his media group's downfall by questioning its creditworthiness in a 2002 television interview. He sought for years to recoup about 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in damages.

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Philipp Halstrick; Writing by Jonthan Gould; Editing by David Holmes)

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