BERLIN Nov 3 Berlin prosecutors are
investigating ex-German state minister Eckart von Klaeden over a
potential conflict of interest after Chancellor Angela Merkel's
former ally joined carmaker Daimler as a lobbyist, a spokeswoman
for the prosecutors confirmed on Sunday after a media report.
Daimler said it had no doubts about Klaeden's
Klaeden, a former treasurer of Merkel's Christian Democrats
who spent the last four years in a senior chancellory role, said
in May that he would quit the government after Germany's Sept.
22 national elections to take up the position of chief political
lobbyist at Daimler.
Weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported on Sunday, without
citing any source, that Klaeden, who was known to have met with
Daimler representatives while still in politics, had access to
three confidential government papers between January and May
2013 on the EU's planned regulation of auto emissions.
Germany last month blocked an agreement among EU member
states to cap car emissions, arguing the plan would cost jobs
and hurt its premium carmakers Mercedes of parent Daimler, BMW
A spokeswoman for the Berlin prosecutors told Reuters on
Sunday that an anonymous complaint has been filed against
Klaeden with prosecutors, who are investigating on the grounds
of a potential acceptance of benefits.
Klaeden, who joined Daimler on Nov. 1, rejects the charges
and pledged to fully cooperate with legal authorities, business
daily Handelsblatt said in an advance release of an article to
be published on Monday.
"It's a completely normal procedure that prosecutors start
investigations because an anonymous complaint was filed," a
spokesman at Stuttgart-based Daimler said. "We have no doubts at
all about the integrity of Mr Klaeden."
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer. Additional reporting by Thorsten