Essen, 11. December 2018
Dear Minister of Justice Katarina Barley, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz,
In October 2018 we revealed in a joint investigation encompassing 19 media how bankers, investors, and tax advisers joined forces to rob European treasuries.
The unbelievable sum of at least 55 billion Euros was stolen. This is money from our citizens that should have been used for worthwhile reasons – for kindergartens, schools, care for our elderly.
We expect the prosecution authorities of our country to work hard to prosecute the guilty parties and to safeguard the treasury. But while billions still sit in the hands of thieves, the investigative journalists are now themselves under investigation.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office of Hamburg has begun an investigation of the Editor in Chief of CORRECTIV, Oliver Schröm, on the suspicion of instigating the betrayal of business secrecies.
Hamburg took over the case from the Swiss authorities, who started investigating on the basis of charges filed by the Swiss bank Sarasin.
Sarasin, which is deeply entangled in the scandal surrounding the stolen taxes, alleges Oliver Schröm abetted a whistleblower inside the bank in disclosing confidential information.
This accusation is absurd: Oliver Schröm did his job as a journalist and revealed a massive grievance in our society.
The attempt to muzzle a journalist and an entire publication is an abuse of criminal law. It is appalling that German authorities have let themselves be manipulated by these offenders.
Sir Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz,
We exhort you to join forces with your European colleagues in order to safeguard our treasuries from being plundered.
Madam Minister of Justice Katarina Barley,
We exhort you to drop this investigation of journalists and to focus on the criminals instead: the people, who stole our taxes in order to satisfy their own greed.
Tax robbery is a crime. Journalism is not.
The CORRECTIV Team