Market manipulation. This the offence on which the Trani prosecution investigates against Frankfurt Deutsche Bank and the former management of the group. The case concerns a massive sale (for 7 billion euros) of Italian government bonds during the first half of 2011. In the last few days, the military police of Bari Financial Guard corps, together with the public prosecutor Michele Ruggiero, have carried out sequesters of documents and emails in the Milanese branch of the German institute and have also listened to witnesses.
There are five suspects: former president of Deutsche Bank Josef Ackermann, former co-CEOs Anshuman Jain and Jurgen Fitschen (the latter is currently co-outgoing CEO of the Bank), the former head of the risks office Hugo Banziger, and Stefan Krause, former chief financial officer and former member of the board of Db.
The former German group leaders are accused of market manipulation because while communicating to the financial markets the sustainability of Italy’s sovereign debt, they would have hidden from these very markets and from the Italian Ministry of Economy (MEF) the real intention of the Bank to slash in the very short term (the first half of 2011) the possession of the Italian debt securities in the portfolio, which at the end of 2010 amounted to eight billion euros. The massive sale of Italian government bonds for over seven billion euros by June 2011 – according to Trani prosecutor Michele Ruggiero – would have altered their value.
The responsible for Db Italy, Flavio Valeri, president and manager of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank Italy, has been heard as a witness. He is unrelated to the ongoing investigations, which concern solely to the activities of the German office of the bank.
The prosecutor Ruggiero believes to have the jurisdiction to investigate under Article 10 of the Criminal Procedure Code. According to this law, in case of an offense committed entirely abroad by foreigners residing abroad, it falls under the jurisdiction of the judicial office which first recorded the crime report.