Path 27

German journalist in scandal says he didn't use donor money

Path 27

BERLIN (AP) — Lawyers for a German journalist found to have fabricated information for numerous articles said Thursday that he denies having used for himself donations given by readers to help nonexistent Syrian siblings.

On Sunday, Claas Relotius’ former employer, Der Spiegel magazine, said he had asked readers by email for donations to be transferred to his private bank account and it would work with prosecutors to find out details.

A Hamburg law firm representing Relotius said Thursday that a 2016 article about the Syrian children in Turkey prompted several offers of donations, news agency dpa reported. It said that, after he was told no Spiegel account was available, Relotius replied with emails offering to collect donations in his private account and forward them.

The statement said that, in that correspondence, he kept up the pretense of the children’s existence but he never used or intended to use the donations for himself. He forwarded the 7,000 euros ($7,970) he received, plus another 2,000 euros of his own money, to an aid group for a project to support refugee children in Iraq, the lawyers said.

Relotius apologizes to all the donors and will return their donations in full, their statement added.

Trending:
Olympian's Overzealous Victory Celebration Ends Up Costing Him More Than He Ever Imagined

The aid group, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, confirmed having received the money from Relotius in 2016.

Der Spiegel, one of Germany’s leading news outlets, announced a week ago that Relotius, who worked for the publication first as a freelancer and later full-time, had fabricated interviews and facts in at least 14 articles.

The fraud, which Spiegel described as “a low point” in its 70-year history, was widely condemned in Germany but also drew rebukes in the U.S., where Relotius claimed to have reported many of his articles.

Thursday’s statement said Relotius has already acknowledged misrepresenting, distorting and making up facts over a period of several years. It said he is aware that he has caused serious damage to the image of Der Spiegel and the media in general, and “deeply regrets this.”

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Path 27
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation