German court ends trial of nationalized bank's ex-CEO

BERLIN — A German court has ended the trial of the former chief executive of Hypo Real Estate, a commercial property lender that was nationalized after it ran into trouble in 2008, in exchange for an 18,000-euro ($21,200) payment.

Georg Funke went on trial in March, accused of manipulating the bank's balance sheets in 2007 and 2008. He denied the accusation.

News agency dpa reported that the Munich state court closed the trial Friday, finding that it had been impossible to clear up the accusations sufficiently. The statute of limitations expires next year.

It said the case would be closed in exchange for a payment to good causes. German law allows such an arrangement, meaning that the court delivers no formal verdict and the defendant effectively wins a legal stamp of innocence.

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