The trial against former family minister Sophie Karmasin is expected to enter its final round today. It is expected that the jury will reach its verdict after the pleadings.
The last witness to be questioned last week was Karmasin’s former employee and current key witness, Sabine Beinschab. Additional interrogations could still take place today, but they are said to concern the second accused department head of the Ministry of Sports, who is sitting next to Karmasin in the dock.
Karmasin is accused of serious fraud: After leaving the ministry, she applied for continued payment of wages and received a total of 78,589.95 euros between December 19, 2017 and May 22, 2018. She shouldn’t have earned anything during this period, but she still gave lectures and supervised projects. She was careless, Karmasin justified her actions in court. Two e-mails from the Federal Chancellery, in which she inquired about additional income, document that she was informed about the legal situation. She settled her fees with a delay.
When the cause became known, Karmasin paid back the money. Her defense attorney Norbert Wess sees this as a sign of “active remorse”. If she is found guilty on this point, she faces up to three years in prison.
She is also accused of committing anti-competitive agreements. She had applied for a total of three studies from the Ministry of Sports. In order to be awarded the contract, she organized further sham offers, including those from Beinschab.
After this process, Karmasin is threatened with further proceedings in the advertisement affair, in which she has to answer for, among other things, infidelity and bribery.