The power of attorney of Osnabrück entered in the register of investigated the German Finance Undersecretary Wolfgang Schmidt (Spd) for one of his tweets in which he partially disseminated the text of thesearch order performed in his department. The offense for which Schmidt is being investigated is linked to the ban on disseminating the contents of trial hearings which also covers the literal spread of acts of investigation, such as the search order, before the case is dealt with in a trial. The rule is provided for in the article 353d of the German Criminal Code and is intended to avoid pollution of investigations.
A week ago the prosecutor in Osnabrück had the Ministry of Finance and that of Justice in Berlin, both headed by SPD. Especially the police entry into the Ministry of Finance caused a sensation because it is the department of the Social Democratic candidate chancellor, Olaf Scholz. The object of the inspection, however, was not the activity of the ministry, but that of the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) of the customs which is called to counter the recycling. The suspicion is of omission of official documents for failure to carry out investigations after having received from banks reporting suspicious payments for over one million euros towards’Africa, with which the investigators assume the recycling sums used for the purchase of weapons, drug trafficking and terrorism. Scholz reacted angry saying that the prosecutor could have limited itself to making one written request to the ministry to get the information he was looking for, and while ensuring the full cooperation, he added that anyone could evaluate events for themselves, clearly referring to the pre-election timing. Federal elections are held on 26 September in Germany.
Its competitor Armin Laschet immediately took the ball, from the podium of the CSU congress, the Bavarian brother party of the Cdu, had accused Scholz of using tones dear to populists by questioning the legitimacy of the action of the Prosecutor, inviting him to apologize. In the televised debate he again attacked the current German vice-chancellor accusing him of omission in his control functions and hoping that the FIU will be incardinated in the bed of the federal criminal police, the BKA. Effective in tone, Laschet was clumsy in the request, because the finance minister does not have a merit control on the FIU and it was actually moved on 26 June 2017 from the BKA to the general directorate of customs, when the ministry was headed by the current president of the Bundestag German politican, of the CDU as Laschet.
Scholz, although cornered, also for other charges related to lack of controls which led to failure Wirecard and the failure to immediately recover sums subtracted from the tax authorities by Warburg Bank when he was still mayor of Hamburg, has stifled the attacks. In reality, the investigations of the Prosecutor’s Office of Osnabrück do not have as their object his department, but rather aim – he declared – to discover the name of two people as yet unidentified that they would not forward the practice and work for another entity based at Colonia. Then recalling how he actually inherited the unit from Schäuble, Scholz claimed for himself the merit of having brought the 180-person entity to already have it in force 500, which, he added, will become 700. And he again stressed that he has modernized computerization, also with the use of artificial intelligence, and the network of exchanges, bringing the reports to 150mila all’anno. In fact, Scholz has embellished the numbers a bit, if only because 3 thousand places in customs, about 8%, are not yet covered and criticism of inefficiency at the FIU, the German media reported, were not new at all.
Criminal action, pursuant toarticle 152 of the German code of procedure on the matter, is mandatory in Germany, even if the choice of timing, just under elections, always against social democratic subjects and just while the party is leading the polls, could feed the narrative of a political exercise of the action of the judges that has been underway since 2020. Schmidt has always defended via Twitter saying he was sure that the affair soon it will clear up. The prosecutor of Osnabrück indicated that he had handed over the documents to his colleagues Berlin.