DGAP-News: SCHIRP & PARTNER Rechtsanwälte mbB
/ Key word(s): Legal Matter/Miscellaneous
25.11.2020 / 15:19
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
WIRECARD Investigating Committee: EY investigators refuse to testify
Plaintiff's representatives: The civil processes will bring the clarification
For tomorrow, November 26, 2020, the Parliamentary Investigation Committee has summoned EY employees as witnesses who have audited the annual financial statements of WIRECARD AG. The Parliamentary Investigation Committee hopes that this will provide answers as to how the balance sheet fraud at WIRECARD AG became possible in the first place and why it remained undiscovered for so long. WIRECARD's insolvency administrator Jaffé has expressly released the auditors from their duty of confidentiality.
Nevertheless, the EY auditors have announced that they will refuse to testify to a large extent. The examiners invoke § 22 para. 2 of the Law on Parliamentary Investigation Committees (PUAG). According to this provision, the answer to questions can be refused if the witness otherwise runs the risk of being overburdened with further investigations himself.
Attorney Dr. Marc Liebscher, Berlin: "The behavior of the EY investigators is scandalous. It may now happen that the interrogation will be as unproductive as the interrogation of WIRECARD CEO Markus Braun. Thus the powers of the parliamentary investigative committee are being trampled underfoot. As late as September 14, EY promised in a customer letter distributed worldwide that it would provide any assistance in clarifying the matter and cooperate with all authorities. One can see: Again, this was just smoke and mirrors".
Lawyer Dr. Wolfgang Schirp, Berlin, who together with Dr. Liebscher has already filed a large number of claims for damages against EY since June 2020 and is preparing further lawsuits: "If you look at the tricks and shady games of EY, we can be glad that we can force information from EY, at least in the ongoing civil proceedings. We have filed lawsuits with very precise allegations. EY will have to defend itself against these just as precisely. There will be no more cover-ups or evasive action in the civil proceedings.
Dr. Marc Liebscher and Dr. Wolfgang Schirp: "One more thing is clear from EY's conduct: the current attempts by the legislator to reform the law governing auditors do not go far enough. The draft bill for a law to strengthen financial market integrity (FISG) is indeed intended as a reaction to the Wirecard scandal. However, the FISG does not draw any lessons from the lack of transparency: the draft fails to adapt the far too comprehensive duty of confidentiality of auditors to modern, international standards. Germany thus lags behind its international competitors and allows "another Wirecard". The currently applicable statutory regulations on the obligation of auditors to maintain secrecy go too far and leave too much room for interpretation. The duty of confidentiality according to Section 43 WPO, Section 323 I 1 HGB and Section 203 StGB, to which IDW PS 210 Tz. 66 expressly refers, is even to apply to statements made by the auditors to the public prosecutor's office. This is untenable in view of the function of the auditors, which is founded in the public interest of the shareholders".
For further information please contact us:
Dr. Wolfgang Schirp, Schirp & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB, Leipziger Platz 9, D - 10117 Berlin, Tel. 0049-30-3276170 and 0049-179-5320213, mail: email@example.com, URL: www.schirp.com
Dr. Marc Liebscher, Dr. Späth & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB, Kurfürstendamm 102, D - 10711 Berlin, Tel.: 0049-30-88701617 and 0049-176-93150194, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, URL: www.dr-spaeth.com
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