German prosecutors named Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) Co-Chief Executive Juergen Fitschen as a suspect on Monday in a dispute over the collapse of the Kirch media empire, adding to the bank's growing list of legal problems.
Deutsche Bank said it was sure that Fitschen would be cleared after prosecutors in Munich said they were investigating whether he gave misleading evidence in a decade-old civil suit brought by the heirs of late media mogul Leo Kirch, who accused the bank of undermining the business.
Germany's flagship lender is already burdened by several judicial and regulatory inquiries, including a probe into whether its traders helped rig Libor reference interest rates. Deutsche booked 1.2 billion euros in legal costs in the third quarter of 2013 alone.
As well as the costs, investors worry that the bank's management is being distracted by dealing with these issues.
Leo Kirch had claimed that, in 2002, then Deutsche chief executive Rolf Breuer triggered his media group's downfall by questioning its creditworthiness in a television interview.
Last year, a Munich judge said Kirch had suffered damages of between 120 million ($162.1 million) and 1.5 billion euros. A final amount in damages has yet to be determined.
Fitschen's contract as co-CEO was extended until 2017 last week. Deutsche said in a statement on Monday after the prosecutors' statement: "The bank is absolutely convinced that this suspicion will prove to be unfounded."