German prosecutors close sexual harassment investigation of Bild publisher

FILE PHOTO - Kai Diekmann arrives to the 50th birthday party of German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Berlin, January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German prosecutors said on Wednesday they had closed a sexual harassment investigation of Kai Diekmann, former publisher of Axel Springer’s mass-selling tabloid newspaper Bild, due to a lack of evidence.

The investigation had been launched after a female employee last year lodged a complaint against Diekmann, one of the most powerful media figures in Germany who resigned in January.

“There is no objective evidence either to disprove the statements of the accused or to prove the statements of the female witness,” the prosecutor’s office in Potsdam, southwest of Berlin, wrote in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Axel Springer welcomed the decision and said an internal investigation had also found no proof that Diekmann, who became Bild’s publisher after serving as editor in chief from 2001 until the end of 2015, had committed a crime.

Reporting by Joseph Nasr in Berlin and Joern Poltz in Munich, editing by Pritha Sarkar