POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - JUSTICE

Fraud trial

Prosecutor won’t appeal Engel acquittal



The dispute between Engel and the CSV isn’t over yet as the former party president said he would file a legal complaint for defamation Library photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

The dispute between Engel and the CSV isn’t over yet as the former party president said he would file a legal complaint for defamation Library photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

The public prosecutor’s office won’t appeal a verdict that acquitted former CSV president Frank Engel of all charges, the office said on Thursday.

A court on 9 December had acquitted Engel and six other CSV party members in a fraud trial that started on 19 October.

Engel between June and December last year received a salary of around €6,000 a month from a not-for-profit affiliated with the CSV, the so-called CSV Frëndeskrees. Among other functions, the group owns the party’s HQ, as political parties aren’t allowed to hold real estate.

In return for the money, Engel was supposed to find a new headquarters for the party, explore transforming the not-for-profit into a foundation and drive party recruitment. However, he faced allegations that this job was only a front for him to receive a salary. The office of party president isn’t renumerated and Engel had no other income at the time.

Members of the CSV had forwarded the matter to the public prosecutor’s office, triggering a leadership crisis within the party that saw Engel step down. Engel had previously said that the trial was politically motivated to oust him.

The public prosecutor had demanded a nine-month suspended sentence for Engel, and six months for former secretary general Félix Eischen and former Frëndeskrees treasurer André Martins Dias, as well as fines for the other four defendants.

While it said on Thursday that it would not appeal the verdict, the dispute could continue as Engel has said he would file a legal complaint against his party colleagues for defamation.

In the wake of Engel’s resignation, the CSV elected Claude Wiseler as its new president.