German prosecutors drop appeal of ex-President Christian Wulff′s acquittal | News | DW | 13.06.2014
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German prosecutors drop appeal of ex-President Christian Wulff's acquittal

Ex-German President Christian Wulff will not need to return to court, after prosecutors dropped their appeal against his acquittal on corruption charges. Wulff has always maintained his innocence, but resigned in 2012.

Friday's move by prosecutors in the northern German state of Lower Saxony means Wulff's February acquittal is now legally binding, meaning he can put two years of legal troubles behind him.

Wulff's time as president ended abruptly in 2012 after less than two years because of corruption allegations. The 54-year-old resigned from office in the wake of the allegations, made worse by a threatening voicemail he had left for the editor of the widely-circulated German tabloid "Bild."

The accusations that he had accepted favors stemmed from his time as state premier of Lower Saxony.

In February of this year, the regional court in Hanover, the capital of Lower Saxony, acquitted him of the charges after finding no proof of criminal wrongdoing. But prosecutors immediately appealed, putting him back in a legal jeopardy which has now ended.

According to the prosecution, Wulff had accepted an invitation from film financier David Groenewald to the 2008 Oktoberfest, a gift worth roughly 754 euros ($1,021). They then linked a letter from him to the CEO of Siemens, as it had appealed for support for Groenewald's new film at the time.

Wulff lashes out at media, judiciary in book

Earlier this week, Wulff used the release of his new book to hit back at those he perceives were involved in his downfall.

"I portray the scandal from my own point of view," Wulff told reporters at Tuesday's book release, adding that it was not meant as a reckoning.

However, in his remarks, he accused the German media and judiciary of violating the separation of powers and causing his demise.

"The manner in which they kept passing the ball back and forth - and not just in my case," threatened the separation of powers and also reflected "a danger to our democracy that needed to be taken seriously," the ex-president said.

Wulff said the improper interaction between the two entities had placed the regional court in Hanover "under the pressure of public opinion" of how it should conduct itself.

Wulff maintained his innocence, and regretted his decision to resign.

"Resigning was wrong," Wulff said. "I would still have been the right person in office."

jr/ng (dpa, AP)

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