Former Federal President Christian Wulff on the way to the district court Photo: dpa

Former Federal President Christian Wulff finds questions from the Hanover Regional Court kafkaesque. The accusation of taking advantage is not confirmed by the witnesses.

Hanover – Probably the most important answer that day in Room 127 of the Hanover Regional Court comes just before lunch. “No,” says Anton M., the 48-year-old reception director at the Bayerischer Hof in Munich. No, Christian Wulff need not have found out that David Groenewold was responsible for part of his hotel bill. Wulff’s defender, Bernd Mussig, nods with satisfaction.

On Thursday, the court heard the first four witnesses in the corruption trial against former Federal President Christian Wulff. Employees of the Bayerischer Hof grant a glimpse behind the scenes of a five-star hotel, but they lack concrete memories of the then Prime Minister of Lower Saxony and the film financier Groenewold in September 2008.

The witnesses describe the booking and payment processes in detail. Again and again the judge and the chief public prosecutor ask: What if an invoice amount is divided, i.e. one guest pays for another? Then what is on the bill? Specifically, it is about the question: Did Wulff know, contrary to what he said in court, that Groenewold has partially covered his room costs?

A better room for important guests is common

The witnesses are unanimous: a cost sharing does not result from an invoice. Wulff cannot be proven on the basis of his hotel bill that he knew or could have known of Groenewold’s payment. It is also quite common to offer important guests a better room than they booked, says the young, very well-dressed assistant to the management. This is usually decided by the hotel manager. The guests with such considerations would by no means be made aware of this in any case. If the bookings are made through certain contractual partners, as in the Groenewold case through American Express, such upgrades are also bindingly agreed.

  • Page 1: Wulff feels reminded of Kafka
  • Page 2: Internals from the noble hotel