Ex German President Charged with Corruption
The prosecutor's office in Hanover announced Friday that it has pressed corruption charges against Germany's former President Christian Wulff.
The charges stem from Wulff allegedly accepting an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2008 Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich from a film producer friend, David Groenewold, whom he later helped by lobbying with the Siemens company to provide money for one of his movie projects.
Groenewold is also charged with offering a bribe in paying over EUR 500 for the former president's and former first lady's hotel accommodations.
Wullf denies the accusations in full. He also rejected an out-of-court settlement deal in saying he would fight to clean his name in the courtroom and refused to pay a fine.
He resigned in February 2011 after a number of scandals, prompting the prosecutors to ask the parliament to lift his immunity. The scandals also involved a discounted home loan he accepted from the partner of a wealthy businessman friend, free flight upgrades, hotel stays and gifts.
The courts now have to decide whether the charges are sufficient to launch a trial against Wulff, which would make him the first former German Head of State to be tried in a court of law.
If found guilty, Wulff could face up to five years imprisonment, however it is likely he would get probation.
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