Federal Court of Justice: a judgment is negotiated against publisher Falk’s heir

The case of the publisher’s heir, Alexander Falk, is currently pending before the Federal Court of Justice. Photo: Arne Dedert / dpa

Ten years after the lawyer was shot and killed, Alexander Falk had to answer in court. The trial ended almost exactly two years ago – BGH is now dealing with the case.

Karlsruhe – The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) wants to deal with the case of the convicted heir of the Hamburg publishing house and internet entrepreneur Alexander Falk on Wednesday (10.30). In July 2020, a district court in Frankfurt am Main sentenced him to four and a half years in prison for inciting the shooting of a business lawyer. The defense appealed.

Falk, 52, has repeatedly denied this allegation. It is unclear whether the Second Criminal Senate in Karlsruhe will make a decision immediately after the hearing. BGH canceled a hearing scheduled for the end of April due to the illness of a Senate member. (Az. 2 StR 142/21)

The case concerns a lawsuit worth millions from a lawyer for manipulated sales in the sale of one of Falk’s companies. The then multimillionaire teamed up with criminals in Hamburg’s red light district and commissioned them to attack a lawyer, the chairman said at the time.

The victim was seriously injured in February 2010 in front of her home in Frankfurt, firing a shot in the thigh. This was preceded by threats and a nightly attack on the lawyer’s house with a sledgehammer. The court found that Falk acted out of revenge, suppressed anger and insulted honor.

process with bizarre details

The nearly year-long trial at the Frankfurt District Court was full of bizarre details: a USB flash drive supplier with allegedly innocent material chewed it up shortly before his arrest. The tape on which Falk enjoyed the attack and described the lawyer as “Basil” turned out to be cut and manipulated in several places.

The judge said in the verdict almost exactly two years ago that the much-discussed “text message from grandma” during the trial led to a conviction: this text was received on Falk’s cell phone five days before the shooting. Shouldn’t worry, Grandma would get her “well-deserved spa stay.” This can only be aimed at the client, the judge said.

The background to this is a business trial in Hamburg, which resulted in Falk being sentenced in 2008 to four years in prison for attempted fraud and for helping to counterfeit bills. He successfully invested money from the sale of a well-known publisher of city plans, which he inherited from his father and became a star of the “New Economy”. In the meantime, Falk was on the list of the 100 richest Germans. He sold the company to England. In the civil lawsuit that followed, the lawyer who was wounded with the shot represented the other side, it was a question of millions of dollars in damages.

I met criminals in prison

In prison, Falk encountered criminals whom he claimed had hired to steal data from a lawyer – and only for that purpose – in order to prove his innocence in commercial proceedings. It is said that “Grandma’s SMS” came from one of the men.

The brothers could not be questioned in the district court because, according to the judge, they were unavailable. There was debate to the end whether they were acting on behalf of Falk, or whether “something got out of hand” on the spot without his participation, as the defense suspected. She wanted an acquittal. The prosecutor’s office then asked the district court for six years in prison.

BGH examines the judgment for violations of the law. It may dismiss the appeal, amend the judgment on its own initiative or, in the event of more serious violations, refer it back to the district court for a new hearing. Falk is on the loose until a final verdict is handed down.

The lawyer quit after the shot. He received shooting training from the police. His family still suffers from the crime, the judge said in the verdict.

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