Germany's most spectacular white-collar criminal case, the Mannesmann trial, was dropped by the Dusseldorf Regional Court on Wednesday in exchange for millions in fines. This means that Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann and the five co-defendants are still considered innocent and have no criminal record. They had to stand trial on charges of serious breach of trust and aiding and abetting such acts.

Ackermann must pay 3.2 million euros The 10. The state chamber thus followed a motion by the defense, which had been agreed to by the public prosecutor's office. With the decision, the proceedings have ended prematurely without a final verdict. Ackermann has to pay 3.2 million euros, ex-Mannesmann CEO Klaus Esser 1.5 million euros. The former Mannesmann supervisory board chairman Joachim Funk is asked with one million euro to the cash. The court fined former IG Metall chairman Klaus Zwickel 60,000 euros and the other two co-defendants 30,000 and 15,000 euros respectively.In the course of the takeover of Mannesmann by the British mobile communications giant Vodafone, a total of 57 million euros in bonuses and severance payments to Mannesmann managers at the time were approved by the supervisory board of the Dusseldorf-based group in 2000 – Esser alone received 15 million euros. Among others, Ackermann and Zwickel sat on the presidium. The trial was about whether the defendants had breached their duty to look after Mannesmann's assets by granting and accepting the bonuses.

Justification: Lack of public interest In his reasoning, presiding judge Stefan Drees referred to a lack of public interest in continuing the proceedings. Clarification of outstanding legal ies is not mandatory because they are "predominantly ies that are not of general importance beyond the present case".Already six years ago, none of the lawyers and auditors consulted by Mannesmann had specifically advised waiving payment of the bonuses, Drees noted. Even at that time, numerous legal questions of importance for the proceedings had been unresolved, which could now no longer be clarified in a legally binding manner "within a foreseeable period of time". The reasoning is based on Section 153a of the German Code of Criminal Procedure, which allows the proceedings to be discontinued.Beyond the trial, important legal ies related to the rights and duties of supervisory board members in the management of corporate assets are seen by the 10. Criminal division already clarified by federal trial court ruling a year ago. The highest federal judges had overturned the acquittals from the first Mannesmann trial two years ago and referred the trial back to Dusseldorf.

Against attacks from reactionary groups

Argentine Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel has called for more support for Pope Francis. Especially in the effort to protect the planet, he said, the head of the church should be supported much more.

Thousands are injured, many died after a devastating explosion in Lebanon's capital Beirut. The churches are hit as well, yet try to help the victims.

Former Saxon Finance Minister Stanislaw Tillich was elected as the new chairman of the Saxon CDU at the CDU's state party conference in Zwickau with 97.7 percent of the vote. The 49-year-old replaces Georg Milbradt. Milbradt had announced his resignation six weeks ago in the wake of the near-collapse of Landesbank Sachsen LB and proposed Tillich as his successor as party leader and Minister President.

Israel has vaccinated almost half its population against Corona. At the same time, the vaccine distribution also poses a political question: What is one's attitude to Palestine? Impressions of a German priest in Jerusalem in the current "Himmelklar" podcast.

Why a good christian also lets nettles grow in the garden

Beekeeping as a hip hobby for city dwellers? © dpa

Whit Monday is World Environment Day. The reason for a look at Eichstatt, the "green diocese of Germany": For a year now, there has been a nature trail there on the subject of bees. Many a gardener could learn some unpleasant things in the process.

The former archbishop of Milan and patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Angelo Scola, is publishing his autobiography this Wednesday, in which he recounts details from the 2013 conclave. He was never an opponent of Cardinal Bergoglio.

Increasing proportion - but still underrepresented

Women's quota in the Catholic Church © Oliver Berg

The Catholic Church in Germany wants to significantly increase the proportion of women in leadership positions. The Catholic News Agency lists important dates.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany has reiterated its criticism of the reformulated Good Friday intercession for the "extraordinary rite" of 1962. Central Council President Charlotte Knobloch called it "very defamatory" on Sunday and called for the wording to be withdrawn. In the news magazine "Der Spiegel," the Central Council president called for a retraction of the wording by the time of Catholic Day, which is scheduled for 21. May in Osnabruck begins.

In the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa, the world looks above all to Somalia. But in Kenya, too, millions of people are threatened. A bishop now accuses his country's government of downplaying the catastrophe.

"The press and international organizations are just shouting out the situation, but the government is playing dumb," Zacharia Kahuthu, bishop of the Kenyan Evangelical Lutheran Church told epd in Nairobi on Monday (01.08.2011). UN says up to 3.5 million Kenyans could be in need of food aid. Currently, some 2.4 million people in the East African country are at risk of hunger.

A few days ago, a government spokesman said that there were no known deaths from starvation in Kenya. Kahuthu accused the government of glossing over the situation with an eye to the upcoming 2012 elections. "If the rains don't come soon, there will be nothing but dust here," bishop warned in face of areas particularly affected by drought. In the Maasai-inhabited areas of southern Nairobi, there are already reports of starvation and suicides because men can no longer feed their families, he said.