Lawyer of fugitive Wirecard executive called to testify in court

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions is seen in Aschheim near Munich, Germany, September 22, 2020. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German court has called upon the lawyer of former Wirecard board member Jan Marsalek, who has been on the run since the implosion of the German payments company, to testify next Wednesday in Germany's biggest post-war fraud trial.

Wirecard became the first-ever DAX member to file for insolvency in 2020, owing creditors almost $4 billion, after disclosing a 1.9 billion euro ($2.13 billion) hole in its accounts.

The firm's auditor, EY, said the hole was the result of sophisticated global fraud in a case that sent shockwaves through the country's political and financial establishment. The trial of former Wirecard executives kicked off last December.

Marsalek, Wirecard's former chief operating officer, is considered a key figure in the Wirecard scandal and an international fugitive on Europe's most-wanted list.

In July he had contacted the Munich court through his lawyer - although neither the lawyer nor authorities disclosed the content of this written communication. A court spokesperson said on Friday that lawyer would now be questioned as a witness in the case.

(Reporting by Joern Poltz; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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