Last Deutsche Bank employees released from custody

FRANKFURT Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:33am EST

A visitor walks past the bank's logo prior to Deutsche Bank's annual news conference in Frankfurt February 2, 2012. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

A visitor walks past the bank's logo prior to Deutsche Bank's annual news conference in Frankfurt February 2, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The remaining three Deutsche Bank staff arrested last week in a judicial probe into carbon tax fraud have been released from custody, a state prosecutor said on Friday.

"There is no longer a risk regarding possible suppression of evidence," Frankfurt prosecutor Guenter Wittig told Reuters, adding that work on the probe was continuing at full speed.

Wittig said the three staff were released on Thursday evening.

Two others arrested in the December 12 raid that involved 500 police and tax inspectors in three cities had already been released.

Prosecutors are investigating 25 Deutsche Bank employees on suspicion of severe tax evasion, money laundering and obstruction of justice in the case, which focuses on tax evasion linked to tax credits and a scheme involving the trading of carbon permits.

Co-Chief Executive Juergen Fitschen and Chief Financial Officer Stefan Krause are also involved in the investigation.

Deutsche Bank's headquarters were searched again this week in a separate probe by Munich prosecutors in connection with the bank's legal battle with the estate of dead media mogul Leo Kirch.

The searches have added to the difficulties for a bank grappling with a raft of legal headaches as well as major regulatory changes in the wake of the global banking crisis.

(Reporting by Philipp Halstrick, writing by Jonathan Gould; Editing by David Cowell)

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