MDR director: Karola Wille invited as a witness in the Foht process

In the fraud process against the ex-MDR entertainment boss Udo Foht, the current MDR director Karola Wille is now to be heard as a witness.

MDR director: Karola Wille invited as a witness in the Foht process

In the fraud process against the ex-MDR entertainment boss Udo Foht, the current MDR director Karola Wille is now to be heard as a witness. The plan is to hear Wille as a witness at the next hearing on December 9, said the presiding judge at the Leipzig Regional Court on Friday. At the time of the scandal, Wille was legal director at MDR.

The events surrounding Foht came to light in 2011. The MDR had given him notice at the time; a labor court process ended with a settlement. On Friday, the MDR announced on request that Karola Wille, as the then legal director of the MDR, had started the clarification in the case. The broadcaster itself clarified the events comprehensively and quickly and cooperated with the public prosecutor from the start. In addition, the MDR is one of several victims in the Foht case.

Prosecutors have charged the 71-year-old with fraud, breach of trust, corruption and tax evasion. The ex-television manager has already admitted in the process that in his last years as head of entertainment at the public broadcaster ARD, he had repeatedly asked various music managers and TV producers for loans. He needed the money to be able to convert programs on MDR. He knew that he would not be able to repay the mostly five-digit sums on time. The presumption of innocence applies to Foht until the final conclusion of the proceedings.

On Friday, a manager of numerous hit stars like Helene Fischer testified as a witness in the process. In May 2010, Foht asked him for a five-digit loan, the 61-year-old told the Leipzig District Court. At that time it was about financing a show. He did not question the request further because Foht was one of the most important players in the entertainment industry at the time, the artist manager emphasized. Despite a reminder letter, he never got the money back.

The criminal chamber had proposed an agreement in the process. If Foht made a credible confession, he could face a maximum of one year and nine months in prison, suspended on probation. The trial will continue on December 9th. The court has scheduled the pleadings for January 9 next year.

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