Coronavirus

Corona corruption allegation: This is how the Nüßlein deal should have expired

The CSU member Georg Nüßlein during a speech in the Bundestag

The CSU member Georg Nüßlein during a speech in the Bundestag

Florian Gaertner / Photo library via Getty Images

It will happen in summer 2020. A textile company near Offenbach wants to get into the business with corona protective masks, it needs contacts to the government for this – and finds Georg Nüßlein.

Nüßlein has been a member of the Bundestag for almost 20 years, he sits on the health committee and has been deputy chairman of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group since 2014. In December 2016, the 51-year-old received the Federal Cross of Merit for his political and voluntary commitment.

Nüßlein is also a management consultant. And in the case of the textile company L. from the Offenbach area, the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office is now accusing him of having acted criminally in this activity. Nüßlein, according to the allegation, is said to have made representations in his function as a member of the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Bavarian Ministry of Health in order to have advertised the award of orders for the production of corona protective masks to the company L.

Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) confirmed on Friday in Berlin that Nüßlein was present in his ministry. “We also checked Mr. Nüßlein’s offer,” said Spahn. “As far as I know, nothing irregular was noticed.” Everything went as usual with such processes.

Nüßlein is said to have received 660,000 euros for his lobbying work

According to research by NewsABC.net, Nüßlein is said to have collected a sum of 660,000 euros for his lobby services, which, presumably through several companies, was paid to Tectum Holding GmbH, which is run by the Charlottenburg district court in Berlin. The CSU politician is said to have paid no corporate tax on the sum – although this is mandatory. According to the current extract from the commercial register, Nüßlein is the sole managing director of Tectum Holding GmbH. A circumstance that the CSU politician does not disclose to the Bundestag: There he only stated a stake in the GmbH, which is ultimately a one-man company through which Nüßlein offers his economic advice.

On Thursday morning, two representatives of the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office informed the Bundestag’s immunity committee that they were investigating Nüßlein on suspicion of corruption and tax fraud. A second person is also being investigated. The committee then lifted Nüßlein’s immunity. As a result, more than a dozen searches took place in Germany and Lichtenstein – including in Nüßlein’s parliamentary offices and in his private residence. According to the public prosecutor’s office, evidence was seized.

On Thursday evening, Nüßlein broke his initial silence on the allegations against him. In a word: “Unsteady”. On Friday, Nüßlein’s lawyer announced that he would leave his position as deputy chairman of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group.

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