He is said to have settled private expenses through the group fund – a total of almost 33,000 euros. From Wednesday, Michael Osterburg, former Greens district politician and ex-partner of Justice Senator Anna Gallina (Greens), has to answer in court. It’s about a “lobster meal” in Malta, a bouquet of roses and countless restaurant visits.
The former Greens district politician Michael Osterburg is accused of commercial infidelity in 121 cases – partly in combination with fraud and forgery. Between 2015 and 2019, the 55-year-old is said to have used fractional funds of almost 33,000 euros for private purposes such as restaurant visits, babysitting costs and flowers. Originally, almost 34,500 euros were charged, but the purchase of a notebook was removed from the lawsuit with the approval of the public prosecutor.
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Michael Osterburg is the ex-partner of Justice Senator Anna Gallina (Greens), the couple has a child together. The alleged acts also fall into the time when Osterburg and Gallina were still a couple. The couple has been separated since autumn 2019.
Trial against Michael Osterburg begins on Wednesday
Investigations against Osterburg began in spring 2020, after the Greens district group, newly elected in May 2019, filed a complaint in April 2020 due to discovered irregularities in the group finances. In this context, the State Criminal Police Office checked thousands of receipts and documents. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the files filled seven boxes. A record of a “lobster meal” in Malta in 2017 caused a media sensation. At that time, Gallina had been involved on the island for the rescue of refugees in the Mediterranean. Osterburg had billed the group for the obviously private meal for 250 euros. Although she did not eat lobster herself, Gallina later apologized for the incident.
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A receipt for the purchase of 40 roses, which may have been related to Gallina’s birthday, was also the subject of the investigation. In addition, Osterburg is said to have settled dozens of “background talks” with journalists or even senators at his favorite bar in Eimsbüttel, which apparently never took place.
According to the indictment, he also made various account debits in his favor and had travel and rental car costs reimbursed by the parliamentary group for no reason, as well as childcare costs that did not arise and privately purchased items of daily use.
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Since Osterburg did not comment on the allegations during the investigation, the public prosecutor’s office wants to present 347 documents as evidence in addition to the 162 witnesses. Anna Galina has not yet been summoned as a witness. “Whether the senator will be heard as a witness has not yet been determined and depends largely on the course of the main hearing,” said a court spokesman on Friday when asked by MOPO. The trial before the Grand Criminal Court starts on Wednesday. Nine days of trial are scheduled until May 17th.
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