Leo Kirch Still Stalking Bank Chairman for Redress

05 January 2004

Deposed German media magnate Leo Kirch -- almost blind, reclusive and 76 years of age -- still knows how to pursue a vendetta.

Rankling from the demise in 2002 of his media empire Kirch Gruppe after main creditor Deutsche Bank pulled the plug, Kirch is determined that bank chairman Rolf Breuer be held personally accountable.

And despite last month's decision by a Munich appeals court that Breuer is not personally liable to pay compensation to Kirch over televised comments made two years ago about the stability of the now defunct media group, Kirch reportedly now plans to reprise the case at Germany's federal court.

The federal court was the battleground for Kirch's initial attempt to obtain redress from Breuer, then a mere €500 million ($632.34m; £351.88m). The court allowed that Deutsche Bank and Breuer might be liable for damages without deciding how many trailing zeros there should be; the appeals court, however, decided the latter had no personal liability.

The damages sought by the former media mogul have now soared by a factor of ten to over €5 billion and Breuer is again centred in Kirch's crosswires. The next federal hearing is expected within a few months.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff