Friday, April 12, 2013

No More Wulff

President Wulff of Germany resigned in February 2012 after a year and a half in the post.

His resignation came after a wave of bad press coverage, including revelations in the mass-market red-top Bild (with which Wulff had previously enjoyed rosy relations, based in part on his telegenic wife Bettina).

Bettina, President Wulff's ex-wife

 Wulff, having heard that Bild was about to publish details of an allegedly "soft" home loan, called the paper's editor to threaten him with "war" if the story went ahead. Hardly presidential, but no more criminal than the allegations were true.

A year later, Wulff - whose wife has since bolted for pastures greener, leaving him alone in an apartment in Hanover - is facing corruption charges. 20,000 pages of ludicrously petty charges have been compiled by four prosecutors and two dozen investigators.

The most serious charges involve €400 paid for drinks at the Oktoberfest in 2008, and €370 paid to a hotel on the island of Sylt in 2007. It is claimed that both bills were paid by a film producer friend of Wulff's. In exchange, Wulff is said to have asked a Siemens executive for financial backing for his friend's film.

The prosecutors offered to drop the charges if Wulff would pay them €20,000, tantamount to an admission of guilt. Wulff refrained and will contest the case. Good luck to him, too. This has all the hallmarks of a witch-hunt, conducted by media-whore prosecutors with twisted priorities, cheered on by a rabid, turncoat press.