Burda and furtwangler describe meeting with wulff
This was announced by judge frank rosenow in hanover at the end of the fifth day of the trial. What is actually behind this, however, is an open question. According to legal experts, "the whole spectrum" is conceivable – discontinuation of the proceedings with acquittal, further continuation of the trial or conclusion against payment of a fine.
Wulff’s defense did not want to comment on the matter when asked by dpa. The hanover public prosecutor’s office also kept a low profile: "we will not comment on this," said senior public prosecutor hans-jurgen lendeckel. So far, trial days have been scheduled until april. In the coming week, wulff’s wife bettina, who is now living separately from him, is to be questioned.
On thursday, publisher hubert burda and actress maria furtwangler were the first prominent witnesses to testify in court. While furtwangler could hardly remember the oktoberfest visit in 2008 that was relevant to the trial, burda’s testimony could help wulff because it truncates his argument from the day the trial was opened. He had a very brief conversation with wulff about media policy, burda said. "Four, five sentences. Then it got louder, then you can not talk much at oktoberfest."
Because of this – albeit very brief – official background, wulff would have been entitled to charge the costs to the state. He had had no reason to be invited with it. At the beginning of the corruption trial, wulff also said that he had met with burda on the oktoberfest weekend in munich and talked about media policy.
The ex-president of germany is accused of having liked to have his hotel stay in munich partly paid for by film financier david groenewold. The total amount at stake is around 720 euros for hotel and food. Wulff emphasized that he had only learned at the beginning of 2012 that groenewold had assumed these costs for him. In return, wulff is said to have supported a film project by groenewold.
Burda stressed that he had wanted to talk to wulff in his capacity as president of the magazine publishers about the broadcasting treaty. In 2008, the public broadcasters had wanted to expand their online offering in a way that could have been dangerous for the publishers, burda said. "Wulff was someone i knew would get the message."
Many observers of the trial see the interim conclusion announced by the court as a possible early end to the trial, which has been going on since the 14th century. November ongoing proceedings. Some of the first witnesses – among them employees of the hotel "bayerischer hof" in munich – had, just like burda, truncated wulff’s portrayal in their testimony. According to them, it was quite possible that he had not been aware of the partial assumption of costs by groenewold.