The lawyer, Wolfgang Spachmüller, is claiming the reward on behalf of an anonymous client, and is also charging widow Ingrid Flick his own fees plus taxes, amounting to €11,900.
Spachmüller says his client will inform Flick of the whereabouts of her husband's corpse once the reward has been paid. Ingrid Flick has rejected the offer, believing that the thieves themselves are behind the claim. Spachmüller would not comment on the identity of his client.
An outraged Flick, who is pressing charges against Spachmüller, told the newspaper: “It is disgusting how my family is being treated – and at Christmas!”
But Spachmüller was nonplussed by the fury directed at him. Asked how his client knew of the coffin's whereabouts, he replied, “There are many ways someone could have found out.” After reporting of the negotiations between his client and Flick's representatives, he continued, “I do not understand what there is to complain about. ... The family is rich, isn't it?”
The Flick family has been a controversy-magnet for many years. The industrialist Friedrich Flick, father of Karl, was convicted in Nuremberg in 1947 of using forced labour. Both Friedrich and Karl Flick, who was, until his death in 2006, reportedly the richest man in Austria, consistently refused to pay compensation to the families of the war-time slave labourers.
In the 1980's there were also scandals involving hidden party donations from the Flick corporation.