NewsEx-MDR manager speaks out again in court about allegations

Ex-MDR manager speaks out again in court about allegations

Created: 09/23/2022, 2:29 p.m

Prozess gegen Ex-MDR-Unterhaltungschef
Udo Foht in the district court of Leipzig. © Jan Woitas/dpa

Udo Foht has already admitted to having asked for large sums of money in the form of loans in order to be able to finance MDR productions. Now the former head of entertainment is adding to his confession.

Leipzig – Ex-MDR entertainment boss Udo Foht spoke again in the trial against him in court. Among other things, he wanted to promote the ideas and success of a moderator with the loan he requested, said the 71-year-old’s lawyer in the trial against the ex-manager, who had been accused of fraud, breach of trust, bribery and tax evasion, on the Friday before Leipzig Regional Court.

His goal was to set new standards with the MDR’s program for younger audiences – despite resistance from the public broadcaster ARD. Foht had not commented on the allegations against him for many years.

With his statements, Foht supplemented his confession from the beginning of September. At that time he admitted that in his last years as head of entertainment at MDR he had repeatedly asked various music managers and TV producers for loans. He needed the money to be able to convert programs.

Foht relied on “pre-financing”

Foht also explained that he “wanted to use the presenter’s creativity as intensively as possible for the station”. When he proceeded, it was clear to him that he would not be able to repay the mostly five-digit sums on time, Foht confirmed his statement from September 9th. The former head of entertainment is considered the discoverer of stars like Florian Silbereisen.

The difficulties in implementing his ideas and the resistance on the part of the MDR were “habit instead of exception” for the ex-manager, the statement said. According to his testimony from early September, Foht has been constantly plugging holes. That’s why he had the idea of asking production companies for “pre-financing”.

In 2011 Foht had to go

According to him, Foht needed most of the money for a reportage program that portrayed people who had emigrated from Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia all over the world. The program was successful, but expensive. Since there were no contracts at the beginning of production and therefore no financial security, the loan paid for travel and subsistence costs, among other things, his lawyer explained.

The scandal came to light in 2011. The MDR had terminated Foht at the time; a labor court process ended with a settlement. The criminal trial should have started years ago, but was canceled due to illness. Even now, the 71-year-old says he is in poor health.

The presumption of innocence applies to Foht until the final conclusion of the proceedings. His testimony was part of a so-called understanding proposed by the court. If he made a credible confession, he could face a maximum of one year and nine months in prison, suspended on probation. According to the agreement, the chamber had temporarily suspended the proceedings for breach of trust and tax evasion at the beginning of September. dpa

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