10 March 2004
MUNICH – Karl-Heinz Wildmoser will rest his presidency at Bundesliga club 1860 Munich after his arrest in connection with an alleged bribery affair around the construction of Munich’s World Cup stadium, it was announced on Wednesday.
Wildmoser’s lawyer Steffen Ufer said that his client’s move was made in a effort to keep the club out of any negative headlines in connection with the case.
Club spokeswoman Claudia Leupold was unable to confirm the statement. The club had said in a statment Tuesday that it was not involved in the case.
Wildmoser, was arrested on Tuesday along with his son, Karl-Heinz Wildmoser jr. as well as two other unnamed people in connection with fraud, bribery and tax evasion.
One of the four, who works for a real estate company of the Wildmosers, was released on Wednesday, the authorities said.
Later Wednesday, the Bavarian authorities were to decide whether to uphold the arrest warrants against the Wildmosers and the other man.
Wildmoser is accused of giving confidential information about a tender for a new stadium in Munich to an Austrian company that was then awarded the EUR 280 million contract. Wildmoser is said to have received EUR 2.8 million for the information.
The World Cup stadium, the Allianz Arena, is being jointly built by Munich’s two Bundesliga clubs, Bayern Munich and 1860 Munich. Wildmoser’s son is one of two CEO’s of the Allianz Arena company and heads 1860’s football division.
The Allianz Arena will host the opening match on 9 June 2006, as well as five further games at the World Cup. Construction will continue as planned despite the bribery affair and the stadium is due to be completed in 2005.
The money was allegedly transferred from the construction company to Wildmoser via the real estate company of the man who was released Wednesday, and the other man who reportedly owns a real estate firm.
Police raided 1860’s club house and Wildmoser’s home on Tuesday as well as the offices of Bayern Munich.
But prosecutors said that Bayern Munich were not a target of investigations, but that they were rather hoping to find further evidence.
The Bundesliga champions Bayern said in a statement late Tuesday that they were “totally surprised” by the investigation, would help prosecutors as much as they could, but at the same time look into whether the affair will do them any damage.
“As a potential victim, Bayern Munich have asked lawyers to act on their behalf to look into all relevant legal aspects of the issue,” Munich said in a statement in Madrid, where the team was due to play a Champions League match on Wednesday.
A spokesman for Allianz said on Wednesday that his company will not take any legal action immediately because it was too early to determine whether the affair will have a negative effect on the insurance company.
Guido Kambli, the lawyer of Karl-Heinz Wildmoser senior and junior, told DSF television late Tuesday that Wildmoser senior was “not involved in the allegations made by the prosecution”.
“He has done nothing wrong from a criminal law point of view,” said Kambli.
Subject: German news