At 9.42 a.m., Markus Braun enters the courtroom in the Munich prison in Stadelheim.

After a few brisk steps, he takes a seat between his defense lawyers, laptop under his arm and dressed completely in black.

Observers who met Braun during his time as CEO of Wirecard notice that he has become slimmer.

Marcus Young

Editor in Business.

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Henning Peitsmeier

Business correspondent in Munich.

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The criminal justice system deliberately moved the hearing, for which at least 100 appointments are scheduled until January 2024, to the modern courtroom in Munich's Giesing district.

There, Braun and the co-defendant Oliver Bellenhaus, both of whom are still in custody, can be led out of their prison cells into the courtroom without any major detours.

In addition, significantly higher security precautions apply here than in other courts.

However, this delayed the start of the process on Thursday morning.

Presiding judge Markus Födisch opened the mammoth trial 45 minutes late.

Significantly more press representatives and visitors than apparently planned had to be brought through the security checkpoints into the courtroom.

We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to take part in the process, Födisch asks for their understanding.

The defendant Braun answered his short questions with short and clear answers.

Born on November 5, 1969 in Vienna?

"That's right." When asked, Braun then affirmed that he is Austrian, married and a business IT specialist by profession.

When the JVA Munich-Stadelheim is named as the current place of residence, Braun nods.

The prosecutor sees a gang at work

The public prosecutor accuses Braun and his two co-defendants of having formed a gang within Wirecard with other people who falsified balance sheets, deliberately published false market information and robbed various banks and lenders of around 3.1 billion euros.

Prosecutor Matthias Bühring, supported by two colleagues, presented the 87-page indictment in the courtroom on Thursday with routine, but also characterized by a certain self-confidence.

During the investigation and also later in the detention trials, the criminal justice system was almost exclusively on the side of the prosecution.

Despite his detailed statements, Braun and Bellenhaus are still in custody today.

However, the public prosecutor's office should see as a special confirmation of their work that the Economic Criminal Court fully approved their indictment submitted in mid-March 2022 after a thorough examination in September.

In total, the indictment against the former CEO Braun, Bellenhaus and the former Wirecard chief accountant Stephan von Erffa comprises 474 pages, the supplementary files to the proceedings fill more than 700 files.

The dimension of Wirecard's balance sheet scandal is unique, even for the experienced public prosecutors and detectives from Munich.

The special commission "Trustees" of the Munich police examined 340 companies, 450 people and 1100 bank accounts.

There were around 40 searches in Germany, and due to Wirecard's global network of companies, more than twice as many raids were carried out in Europe, the Gulf region and Asia.

In Singapore alone, the seat of the Citadelle trustee, the Munich I public prosecutor's office made a dozen requests for legal assistance.

It's about accounting fraud, market manipulation and breach of trust

On this basis, the prosecutors accuse the three defendants of accounting fraud, market manipulation and commercial gang fraud amounting to billions. As the head of the company, Braun also has to face the alleged breach of trust.

In the courtroom of the Munich-Stadelheim JVA, the public prosecutor's office presented the complexes over several hours.