The Rolling Stones affair
Rösler’s ex-deputy settles with the public prosecutor’s office
While former boss Harald Rösler is silent on the charge of bribery, family man Tom O. holds a long monologue.
Hamburg. The former state councilor Elke Badde and the previously appointed head of the Northern District Office, Yvonne Nische, have, among other things. Stones ticket affair cost her career. They have already been fined for accepting a benefit, even if they are not final. Other officials, both lower and higher, received sentences or bought themselves out of a verdict. They should all have long ago cursed the day they were tempted to buy one of the 100 free tickets to Rolling Stones concert in the city park on September 9, 2017 or to accept one of the 300 priority purchase cards. The cards were poisonous, pure kryptonite.
The public prosecutor’s office investigated for two and a half years before prosecuting what they saw as the four main perpetrators of the ticket affair, that was in March 2020. Another 18 months later, treats started. Stand before the court former District Office Manager North, Harald Röslerbe Deputy Tom O and two employees of the company FKP Scorpiowho started the Stones’ “No Filter” European tour in September 2017.
Former district chief accused of corruption in office
Rösler is the last to enter the room on Wednesday, accompanied by his defense attorney, star attorney Johann Schwenn, who is notorious for his hard-fought fight. But there is also a lot at stake for Rösler. The public prosecutor has accused him of bribery in office and breach of trust. If he is sentenced to more than a year in prison, the 71-year-old could lose his pension.
As head of the approval authority responsible for the concert, Distriktskontoret Nord, Rösler must have demanded free and preference tickets and in return offered the organizer the prospect of meeting him with the usage fee for the festival meadow in the city park. .
After some back and forth in May 2017, the parties agreed on 100 free tickets worth around 15,000 euros and another 300 purchase tickets, the indictment states. FKP Skorpio only paid an amount of 196,000 euros for the fairgrounds – according to the prosecution, however, the use would have been worth more than three times as much. According to the prosecution, the city budget lost 436,422.22 as a result. FKP Scorpio is therefore threatened with confiscation of the so-called proceeds from the crime in exactly this amount.
Allegations of bribery “invented out of thin air”
400,000 euro damage: Former district office manager in court
The formerly appointed district chief appeals
Free tickets were given to 40 employees in the District Office North
According to the indictment, the free tickets, two each, went to 40 employees at the Northern District Office – in “tacit agreement” and as “thank you for services already performed or for future services”. In return, the “friends of the house” benefited from the 300 shopping cards. Rösler himself and his wife are said to have accepted concert tickets (premium gold) with an invitation to a VIP reception worth 1,400 euros.
In addition to the officials, two FKP Scorpio employees involved in the Stones negotiations are also charged with bribery. The two accused are silent about the accusations, as is Rösler.
FKP Scorpio: That’s what the adviser says
In its opening statement, the company’s legal representative, Oliver Pragal, “completely and emphatically” denied the allegations on Wednesday: There was no connection between the allocation of the free tickets and the usage fee for the festival area. FKP Scorpio paid 255,000 euros for the meadow, and that is “not a little”. For example, there should have been only 140,000 euros for renting the trotting track.
In addition, Scorpio also had to set up the infrastructure (toilets, etc.) and paid 380,000 euros to repair the festival area, which was badly damaged after the concert. In total, the cost amounted to 635,000 euros – the company had never before paid so much for a concert area.
Issuance of “venue tickets” is common practice
Issuance of so-called “location maps” to the approval authorities is also common practice in the industry. So far, there has not been a single criminal case. For example, in the Elbphilharmonie, it is common to reserve seats, and at the Stones concert, only 0.125 percent of the ticket contingent was venue tickets.
The only defendant to interfere in the charges on Wednesday is Rösler’s former deputy, Tom O., who is accused of aiding and abetting bribery. Visibly moved by the pressure that has been on him and his family since the investigation began, his 70-minute monologue turns into a bitter general settlement with the public prosecutor, who has ruled “not open”.
“I reject the allegations,” the 49-year-old said. Alone, there is already a lack of motive. “Who seriously believes that as a family man I should pay for a concert that meant nothing to me, for free tickets with a virtual market value of a few thousand euros that I could not or would not have and for a concert that I well could have done without such a risk, should have been taken? ” He was unable to identify a criminal relationship by his former boss, so he could not have helped in any way.
Deputy speaks of “giant stupidity”
He was not even involved in the contract negotiations. However, the 255,000 euros for the meadow also seemed “suspicious” to him. For example, the showmen at the cathedral paid only 180,000 euros for 13 days of use. He describes the sum of more than 600,000 euros for the meadow, which the public prosecutor finds appropriate, as a “moon fee”.
According to his study at the time, the free tickets could be approved by the city without offsetting as “sponsorship”. That he withdrew the application for approval from May 15 to May 9, 2017, however, was a “great stupidity.” He even got three free tickets, but only attended the concert in “official capacity”. And the Senate explicitly wants officials to attend cultural events. “My family and I feel cheated for four years of our lives,” he says. “All we want is to get a normal life back.”
Wednesday, November 10, 2021, at 18.25
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