* Prosecutors say board member Leithner under investigation
* Prosecutors investigate D.Bank employees, lawyers
* Investigation on suspicion of attempted fraud
* Case relates to legal battle with Kirch heirs
(Adds investigation into board member Leithner)
By Jörn Poltz and Alexander Hübner
MUNICH, March 25 German prosecutors widened an
investigation to include a second Deutsche Bank board
member in another twist to the lender's legal battle with heirs
of late media mogul Leo Kirch that included a search of the
bank's headquarters on Tuesday.
Prosecutors said suspicions of attempted fraud by Deutsche
Bank employees in the Kirch case now included Stephan Leithner,
currently responsible for legal and regulatory affairs,
compliance and human resources at Germany's largest lender.
Leithner was working as an investment banker at Deutsche
Bank when Kirch's business empire collapsed in 2002.
The inquiry, which already includes Deutsche Bank Co-Chief
Executive Juergen Fitschen, was expanded last week to encompass
lawyers who represented Deutsche Bank in the case.
Earlier on Tuesday, prosecutors said they had conducted a
fresh search of the lender's main offices and had also searched
the home of an unnamed suspect in the state of Hesse, home to
Deutsche Bank's Frankfurt headquarters.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the inclusion of
Leithner in the investigation. Earlier, the bank confirmed its
offices had been searched but declined to provide details.
The bank's legal battle with Kirch, one of Germany's most
acrimonious corporate disputes, revolved around the late media
magnate's assertion that ex-Deutsche Chief Executive and later
Chairman Rolf Breuer triggered his group's downfall by
questioning its creditworthiness in a 2002 television interview.
Kirch sought for years to recoup about 2 billion euros in
damages. He died in 2011 aged 84, but his heirs carried on a
battle that ended last month in a deal costing Deutsche Bank
about 925 million euros ($1.3 billion).
Now prosecutors are investigating whether current Co-Chief
Executive Fitschen, his predecessors Josef Ackermann and Rolf
Breuer, and several others gave misleading evidence in the civil
suit brought by Kirch's heirs.
The prosecutors have said they aim to wind up their
investigation by the middle of the year.
Previous prosecutor raids in late 2012 in the Kirch case,
and an unrelated carbon tax fraud investigation, had involved
hundreds of officers and a score of police vehicles.
State prosecutors have also recently searched offices of law
firms connected with the Kirch case. Hengeler Mueller, which had
advised Deutsche Bank, said on Monday its Frankfurt offices had
been searched last week.
A second law firm, Gleiss Lutz, said on Tuesday its offices
in Munich were also subjected to a search last week.
($1 = 0.7255 euros)
(Additional reporting by Arno Schuetze and Jonathan Gould;
Editing by Louise Heavens and Mark Heinrich)