Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Catholic bishop gets suspended sentence for embezzlement

The allegations first surfaced in 2019 when a caregiver working for the widow noticed the bank transfers and informed the public prosecutor’s office.

• July 13, 2021

A senior Catholic official in Germany was on Tuesday handed a nine-month suspended sentence for embezzlement.

A court in the western German city of Kerpen also ordered Johannes Buendgens, an auxiliary bishop in the nearby city of Aachen, to pay a fine of €5,000 ($5,920).

The prosecutors accused the 65-year-old clergyman of abusing a wealthy widow’s power of attorney and transferring nearly €128,000 to his account.

Mr Buendgens now has two weeks to appeal the court’s decision.

The court heard the defendant had known the widow, whose name has not been released under Germany’s strict privacy laws, for a long time. She died in 2020.

Mr Buendgens was also accused of having bought a property with the bank transfers, which were made in December 2017 and January 2018.

He has since repaid the money received.

The defendant stepped down from his church post after the allegations first surfaced in 2019 when a caregiver working for the widow noticed the bank transfers and informed the public prosecutor’s office.

A court spokesman said that if the ruling is upheld, then the bishop will have a criminal record.

Mr Buendgens was not in court to hear the verdict, but his lawyer Christof Pueschel said he assumed the defendant will appeal the ruling.

Mr Pueschel also presented the court with a medical certificate for Mr Buendgens.

“Please assume that my client is innocent,” Mr Pueschel said. 

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette


Buhari didn’t tackle election violence in 2019; 2023 polls face same problem, warns HRW

“The elections are set to take place against a backdrop of impunity for abuses by security forces…”

Muhammadu Buhari, Bola Tinubu and Aishatu Binani


Adamawa residents told to vote for Tinubu, not Atiku

Ms Binani urged Adamawa electorate to consider Mr Tinubu ahead of other presidential candidates, including Atiku Abubakar.

Nigeria Farmers


Early Rainfall: Kaduna, Kano, Katsina farmers weigh options

Some farmers observed that when the rainy season commenced early, it also usually ended early.



TETFund, IFC begin employability programme for higher institutions

TETFund said the move was part of efforts to improve employability in the country.

Danish protesters


Thousands protest over Denmark’s move to abolish Christian holiday

The Christian holiday that falls on the fourth Friday after Easter dates to 1686.

United Kingdom Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Ben Liewllyn-Jones


UK ambassador lauds NRC legacy documentation

NRC is partnering Oxford University to document the corporation’s legacy.