Public prosecutor closes investigation due to lack of evidence
Espelkamp. On Tuesday 12th April 2011, the Bielefeld public prosecutor’s staff visited the Gauselmann Group’s premises. The reason for doing so was public speculation concerning the legality of contributions to political parties by Gauselmann Group managers. The public prosecutor examined comprehensive documentation of such contributions from 2005 to 2011. The company kept seamless records of them and made those records available to the prosecutor.
The public prosecutor’s staff also questioned leading managers of the Gauselmann Group who had made such party contributions. They concluded that all such contributions could be clearly assigned to the persons making them. Likewise, the political parties were correctly informed of the procedure upon receipt of the contributions – that these were single donations from company employees and merely being forwarded by the company. This meets all relevant German legal requirements.
On conclusion of this investigation the matter was dropped, as the legal and factual circumstances warranted doing so. Company founder Paul Gauselmann, who has always emphasised greatest possible transparency towards the media and the responsible authorities, expected no other conclusion. He stated that he quite understood that the authorities had to investigate the matter thoroughly, not least in his own interest. “All contributions by managers in recent years at the request of parties or MPs were handled as the law requires. The authorities have confirmed this after examining the relevant records. I’m pleased my employees and my company have been shown to be entirely innocent of any wrongdoing” said Paul Gauselmann. “The suspicions aroused by an article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung that concealed contributions had been made to political parties by the Gauselmann Group or its employees have now been shown to be groundless” he added.