Munich / Erfurt (dpa) – In the Union affair about business with corona protective masks, the investigations have taken on new dimensions. The Bavarian Public Prosecutor’s Office has for the first time obtained an arrest warrant against an accused who is obviously not a politician.
In Thuringia, meanwhile, the former CDU member of the Bundestag Mark Hauptmann is being investigated on suspicion of bribery of elected officials. In this context, the former offices and living quarters of the CDU politician were searched on Thursday.
In the Bavarian proceedings, among others, ex-State Justice Minister Alfred Sauter (CSU) and the member of the Bundestag Georg Nüßlein, who has since left the CSU, are investigated for suspected corruption. As a spokesman for the attorney general explained on Thursday, the arrest warrant that has now been issued is not directed against Sauter or Nüßlein.
The investigation is also ongoing here on suspicion of corruption and bribery of elected officials. It is about the suspicion that Nüßlein and the Bavarian member of the state parliament Sauter let themselves be smeared for mediating contracts for respiratory masks to the public sector in the Corona crisis. Both have denied the allegations. The other three defendants in the trial are two businessmen and a tax advisor. The investigators did not provide any further information as to whom the arrest warrant was issued against.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office had obtained the arrest warrant on Wednesday “because of an urgent suspicion and the existence of a reason for arrest” at the Higher Regional Court in Munich, and the suspect was arrested on Thursday. In addition, the public prosecutor’s office has now, according to its own statements, “initiated measures to safeguard assets on a large scale”.
In Thuringia, the State Criminal Police Office searched the former constituency offices of ex-MP Hauptmann and several CDU district offices on Thursday, as announced by the Thuringian Public Prosecutor’s Office. Hauptmann’s office in the Bundestag and his living quarters in Thuringia and Brandenburg were also searched, as well as a company in the Frankfurt am Main area.
She is said to have paid the politician money for brokering deals with corona protective masks. It is about “a high six-digit euro amount”, according to the investigating authority. The company is also under investigation – on suspicion of bribery of elected officials. In a newspaper interview, Hauptmann denied having received any money for the mediation. He is said to have conveyed the masks to districts in Thuringia, among others.
The preliminary investigation against the 36-year-old has been running since last Saturday – one day after Hauptmann left the Bundestag. The trigger was lobby allegations, as a result of which the mask shops became known. “We assure the investigators of our unlimited support,” said Thuringia’s CDU General Secretary Christian Herrgott.
The so-called mask affair has plunged the Union parties into a deep crisis. Former CDU member of the Bundestag, Nikolas Löbel, also received a commission for a mask business. He has since resigned from the CDU and resigned his parliamentary mandate. Because of the affair, the CDU and CSU want to tighten the transparency rules for MPs.