POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Frank Engel case proceeds to public hearing



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Frank Engel (CSV) announcing his resignation in March 2021. Library photo: Matic Zorman 

The public prosecutor’s office plans a public hearing before the end of this year to help determine whether a case against former CSV president Frank Engel proceeds to a criminal court. 

Members of the CSV had forwarded documents about a labour contract between Engel and a not-for-profit affiliated with the party--the CSV Frëndeskrees--to the prosecutor in March. The Frëndeskrees owns the CSV’s party headquarters since political parties cannot legally own real estate.

The public prosecutor on 15 June said it had closed its investigation into the matter. “Regarding the possible holding of a trial before the criminal court, the prosecution plans to set a public hearing before the end of 2021,” it said in a statement.

Engel received roughly €40,000 over seven months last year under the contract. His mission was to explore transforming the not-for-profit into a foundation, but the idea was abandoned and party members claimed misuse of assets. Engel was also supposed to look into moving the party's HQ into new premises, which also didn’t happen.

A second investigation--into Engel being reimbursed for social security contributions--is ongoing, the public prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday. A spokesperson told Delano that depending on the outcome of the investigation, this, too, could feature in the hearing.

The controversy had plunged the CSV into a leadership crisis, with Engel stepping down as president and withdrawing his candidacy to renew his mandate. Claude Wiseler in April was confirmed as the party’s new president together with a new leadership team.