Criminal charges filed in Deutsche Bahn employee spying case

Criminal charges filed in Deutsche Bahn employee spying case
Photo: DPA
The new management of German national railway Deutsche Bahn has submitted criminal charges to the public prosecutor’s office over a scandal involving internal company spying, daily Frankfurter Rundschau reported on Wednesday.

“A counsellor under contract with the new Deutsche Bahn leadership submitted the criminal charges against unnamed suspects and presented evidence,” a spokesperson for the public prosecutor’s office told the paper.

The case allegedly details criminal surveillance within Deutsche Bahn and there are several individuals who have accused the company of violating data protection laws, the spokesperson said. Investigations are still ongoing, he added.

“Crimes undoubtedly took place,” former German interior minister Gerhart Baum, who has been involved in the investigation, told the paper.

In February, the railway operator confirmed that in 2005 it had scoured the personal data of 173,000 workers for signs of dubious dealings with suppliers. The company also acknowledged in March following reports in the media that similar operations had taken place in 2002-2003.

The scandal then grew to include not just surveillance of employees, but also journalists and scientists who were particularly critical of Germany’s state-owned national rail operator.

In April, the German government nominated Rüdiger Grube to head the company after former boss Harmut Mehdorn resigned amid heavy criticism.

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