* Damages to be determined by independent expert-judge
* Judge previously eyed damages of 120 mln to 1.5 bln eur
* Deutsche Bank says will study verdict
* Ruling comes after a week of legal problems for bank
FRANKFURT, Dec 14 Deutsche Bank was
ordered by a judge to pay damages to the representatives of
deceased media mogul Leo Kirch, the latest blow to Germany's
flagship lender which is reeling from a string of legal
Kirch had claimed ex-Deutsche Chief Executive and later
Chairman Rolf Breuer triggered his media group's downfall by
questioning its creditworthiness in a 2002 television interview.
He sought for years to recoup about 2 billion euros in damages.
On Friday, Munich judge Guido Kotschy said the level of
damages would be determined by an outside expert.
The ruling comes in a week when Deutsche saw five employees
arrested following a high-profile raid on its headquarters by
tax inspectors, and after the bank told investors to expect
significant charges in fourth-quarter results.
In November, judge Kotschy said Kirch had suffered damages
of between 120 million euros ($157 million) and 1.5 billion, an
estimate he repeated on Friday.
Deutsche Bank said it will study the ruling and maintains
that the claims made by Kirch had no merit. Kirch's
representatives have continued his battle after he died aged 84
The ruling ends Deutsche Bank's decade-long efforts to avoid
paying damages to Kirch and comes at a time when it is trying to
meet new capital demands.
Mediobanca analyst Chris Wheeler said, "This ruling and
other potential legal hits raise questions about the already
weak capital position and even the dividend in 2012."
Deutsche Bank shares closed down 2 percent to 32.62 euros,
lagging the blue-chip DAX index which closed 0.2
In its third quarter report, Deutsche Bank said that for
significant and regulatory matters, the group had made an
estimate that future losses could be up to 2.5 billion euros in
excess of provisions.
The bank also said at that time it had received subpoenas
and requests for information from various regulators and
governmental agencies in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific in
connection with setting the London Interbank Offered Rate
(LIBOR). Deutsche Bank is cooperating with these investigations
Rival Swiss bank UBS is expected to pay about $1
billion to settle charges of rigging the Libor interest rate
benchmark, well above the $450 million fine paid by Barclays
Deutsche this week dismissed claims made by a former
employee alleging it had failed to recognise billions of euros
in unrealised losses during the financial crisis.