BERLIN/ZURICH Aug 21 A German trust responsible
for managing the fortune of the former East German Communist
state is suing Swiss bank Julius Baer over missing funds worth
135 million euros.
A spokesman for the BvS, the German agency chasing
disappeared East German assets, said it had filed a complaint
with the district court in Zurich on August 15 against Julius
Baer, seeking to get its hands on Communist-era assets which
disappeared after the Berlin Wall fell nearly 25 years ago.
A spokesman for Julius Baer referred to the bank's half-year
report for comment. In it, the bank says it received payment
orders from the BvS for 110 million Swiss francs plus interest.
Baer said the BvS claimed Bank Cantrade - which Baer
acquired from UBS in 2005 - had allowed unauthorised withdrawals
between 1989 and 1992 from the account of a foreign trade firm
established by former officials of the German Democratic
Baer said the claim had been notified under the 2005
transaction agreement with UBS, regarding representations and
warranties granted in respect of the acquired entities.
A spokesman for UBS declined to comment.
Asked why the trust had only now lodged a complaint, the BvS
spokesman said it had been examining the situation and had
awaited a verdict in a similar case against AKB Privatbank
"If we didn't think we would also succeed like in that case,
we certainly wouldn't have made the effort to bring this
lawsuit," the BvS spokesman said.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin in Berlin and Joshua Franklin in
Zurich; Editing by Gareth Jones)