>> russia's more well-known critic of the kremlin has arrived here in germany after he was given a surprise card -- surprise pardoed by president vladimir putin. >> he was escorted to a waiting aircraft in a hush-hush operation work out behind the seasons -- worked out behind the scenes by the german government. >> it is unclear whether he still harbors any political ambitions. >> he was welcomed by former german foreign minister who worked behind the scenes to secure his release. russia's most political prisoner -- most famous political prisoner arrived in the afternoon. hours before the former oil tycoon was released from a prison camp near russia's border with finland.
he apparently immediately boarded a flight to germany. but even a day after russian president vladimir putin unexpectedly announced his pardon and release, many questions release -- questions remain. he had asked putin for a part in citing family reasons. he also said that signing event mission of guilt was -- signing an admission of guilt was out of the question. his fall from grace dates back to 2003 yard the billionaire oligarchs was sentenced to a long term for fraud and tax evasion. he said the claims against him warm useless and he was imprisoned only because he was becoming a clinical threat to putin. many western governments seem to agree. germany's foreign minister welcomed his release.
>> we would like to use this signal to continue discussions about the future of the rule of law and human rights in russia. >> people on the streets of moscow also were generally positive about the the development. >> the president has shown his humane side. i think everything going on in our government and all his decisions are fair and timely. it should have been done long ago. he should have done it a long time back. and now that it has happened, yes, i am glad. >> he had been due for release in august of next year but there was also speculation his sentence could be extended. >> joining us now in the studio to talk more about this is our political correspondent simon young. why has he come to berlin and why is he getting such high level support from our former german foreign minister?
>> it is still not quite clear because we haven't heard from him himself give according to russian sources, the reason that he gave to russian officials for choosing germany was that his mother, who has been ill with cancer, has been receiving treatment here in berlin and he wanted to come here to be with her. the only thing is that it turns out that his mother has not been in berlin for about a week or so. and he is still -- and she is still in moscow. she may come here very soon. it is slightly unclear. as for the foreign minister's role, he had a lot to do with the russians and he was a tireless advocate for opening up towards russian concerns. he has been working on behalf of mr. kortokovski as an advisor.
certainly, his role is very interesting in this. >> do we know anything about his plans? apparently, he is at a reception right now. it is he going to do? >> we believe he is there. that is certainly where the journalists are waiting to get a glance of him. if it's true, it would be an extra neri turn around him this is a man who has come from a russian penal camp to a five- star luxury hotel in a western capital in the space of one day. that is an extra neri journey in itself can isolate he will -- that is an extraordinary journey in itself. as for what he will do now, he will meet with his relatives in berlin on saturday. he has a son who lives in new york who is presumably coming year. what will he do? of course, journalists are hoping that he will speak to the press and say something about his experiences in prison of the last 10 years. he also heard a rumor that he
may be heading to switzerland. so there are a lot of questions. >> what has been the response to this pardon from the german government? is this an olive branch from vladimir putin? >> the response has been very positive. angela merkel welcomed it. this is a chance to talk to the russians again about human and civil rights. it certainly looks like an attempt by president putin to clear the decks on human rights concerns by releasing the pussy protesters -- the pussy riot protesters in the last couple of days. i had of the winter olympics, he's trying to do something. >> thank you very much. reactions to the pardon have been mixed at home and abroad. inside russia, many seem korto
kovsky as part of the old guard of the yeltsin years. >> he used his connections to grab a foothold in the oil sector. >> here is the rise and fall of one of russia's most ambivalent oligarchs. >> by the 1990s, he had built an empire. he acquired much of russia's oil production from the russian state which was selling off key assets. using his own bank, he gained control of the yukon soil company at a bargain price of $300 million. but it stirred controversy. he kept close ties with the kremlin. he even said is a entity minister under reservoirs yeltsin. his successful run leadership -- under his successful leadership, it is one of the more transparent and well-run companies. backed by international investors, and became one of the
country's largest oil producers. but that changed when vladimir putin became president. in 2003, he found himself at the center of an investigation into tax claims. he was arrested on charges of tax fraud and, in 2005, he was sentenced to nine years in prison. a year later, he filed for bankruptcy. the company was broken off and the government sold off its core assets, including oilfield and refineries to the state owned company. that company was headed by the americans former deputy minister. >> the european union has promised russia a bruising summit meeting on their jew political confrontational -- on their geopolitical confrontation . >> they blame moscow for applying undue pressure on the ukraine. >> there were smiles on the faces of eu leaders who could
look back on a year winding down without a homegrown crisis. and they were up the non-ukraine saying that russia could not block the country's european future. german chancellor angela merkel echoed that message, saying that the eu's position was unchanged. >> the door is open and there is no date for it to close. we want the association treaty. europe has laid the groundwork and now ukraine must decide. the other eu stressed that, for them, it was a matter of values, not financial aid. >> this is not about who is the highest bidder. we are carpet salesman trying to outbid each other. >> another big issue at the summit was pushing the eu's, security and defense policy forward. france hoped its peacekeeping deployment in the central african republic could become a test case. but president francois hollande
failed to persuade other leaders to show the cost of the operation. >> i dated for europe and come in the interests of europe, because it is the best symbol one to think of to support a country that is one of the poorest in the world to prevent a massacre and to allow reconciliation. >> the latest decided to past on eu funding for such military operations to a league of foreign ministers in january. european countries are still reluctant when it comes to joint defense operations. become security and defense policy is a project for the long-term future and, consequently in the summit in brussels, no giant leaves were made but rather small steps to advance it. but european leaders do recognize that the current decision-making processes are too slow and that more collaboration is needed also in the field of defense policy. if europe is to be taken seriously as a global player.
the european commission has criticized a decision by standard & poor's to strip the eu of its triple-a credit rating . the agency said it was downgrading it by one notch from triple-a to double-a plus because of tensions over the eu budget. >> this move does not affect the ratings of individual members. but most eu members have lower ratings than brussels. just three eurozone members still have the top triple-a rating from standard & poor's. those countries are germany, finland and luxembourg. germany's deutsche bank has agreed to pay 1.4 billion euros to resolve the litigation that followed its foray into mortgage-backed securities in the u.s. >> it is one of 17 financial institutions that were sued by the federal housing finance agency in the u.s. it allegedly failed to supply enough information about residential mortgage-backed
securities which were sold to lenders fannie mae and freddie mac between 2005 and 2007. a string of bad news for germany's [indiscernible] shareholders took in their stride. dorothy holds sends us this report. >> there are definitely nicer christmas resins than to be a euro billion fine. but shareholders have been very relieved because deutsche bank managed to resolve one important litigation case and had enough reserves to pay the bill. but the dax is also strong coming into its latest all-time high after a very successful week. that is thanks to really good economic data. at the end of the week, traders were please with the surprisingly strong german consumer mood. >> a quick look now at the numbers.
the u.s. economy continues to gain traction. the latest figures show the pace of growth is the strongest in two years. >> the commerce department says that the world's largest economy in grew at a robust annual rate of 4.1% in the third quarter of 2013. business investment and consumer spending also stronger than expected. is there such a thing as tax fraud related to prior trading? best to power trading -- to power trading? power trading is paper-based and cross-border fraudulent behavior
is hard for investigators to chase. price it is a tax evasion scheme that may have cost the german state many billions of euros. electricity traders are currently used cross-border transactions and legal loopholes in the european power market to avoid paying value added tax called carousel trading. german companies import electricity from other he eu countries. the importers have to pay 19% value-added tax when selling it on to other buyers. but the tax cheats shuffled electricity through fake companies until the trail became lost and allowing them to avoid paying dat. it allowed them to receive a refund on tax and never paid. billions of euros were siphoned off the market in admissions trading. the european power market at
nearly a trillion euros annually is 10 times the size of that certificates. the legal loopholes have since been closed and the laws tightened on electricity trading. but it seems much damage has party been done. foreign minister says his government is negotiating with militia groups in a bid to calm the violence there. president had -- the president didn't want his people to return to war. it is thought that five hundred people have been killed, most of them soldiers, said sunday. >> clashes have caused thousands of people to seek refuge in the united nations compound. foreign governments have told their citizens to leave the country. the list reports indicate that the violence began as a fight among presidential guards from different ethnic communities.
one of those who managed to get out on one of the evacuation flights from south sudan joins us now in the studio. he is a journalist and trainer at the dw academy. the academy prepares young journalists in south sudan and other african countries. he has been involved in the region regularly since 2007. it is good to have you back in berlin. you mentioned before we went on air that they were shooting in the neighborhood at the hotel you are at. soldiers were in the hotel. is the capital securing now? >> during the daytime, it is relatively safe. but most of the fighting goes on during the night. but the looting's have already started. who will make sure that the soldiers will follow the orders again in the future? soldiers went into our hotel, our unprotected hotel, asking for food. the staff gave them
food. but the question is how will it continue this gets out of control? people have really big problems. >> we saw the attack yesterday on a you and compound. there is a real escalation. is there an absence of dialogue right now? what could be holding the country together? this is after all an oil-rich country. >> 11 people think that only dialogue can solve this problem. the united nations want to achieve this. a lot of people think this is a power struggle between the president and his former deputy. this conflict, he said, is not based on an ethnic background. you see a lot of fights going on involving the dinka people who are loyal and the newer people. please stand by
very concerned. they are very poor country even though they are oil-rich. if this continues, the international donors will draw off more of their staff. what is left is only soldiers who want to grab power. this is a very difficult issue. >> thank you. he has been in south suzanne -- south sudan is 2007. >> now to the drkest chapter or in german history. the nazi systematic murder more than 6 million jews across europe. 50 years ago today, the frankfurt auschwitz trials began. >> the defendants were made to the lower-level officials charged with their roles at the
auschwitz concentration camp. many of the senior leaders have already been sentenced to death. >> frankfurt the summer 20th, 1963. the start of one of germany's most important trials of not too warm criminals. 22 people were in the dock for crimes committed at auschwitz. the cap -- the camp commander chief of staff was among them. >> so you're saying that, back then, when you're adjutant, you did not know that the truck was being used to take people to the gas chambers. >> no, no one asks any questions. >> the perpetrators tonight any knowledge of horrors that were plain to see. >> i have to tell you, by my second day there, i knew what was going on and i was not the only one. >> gerhardt clearly remembers the shocking scenes at the trial. today, he is 85.
50 years ago, he was one of three prosecutors in frankfurt. >> we had the written statements from witnesses. we compiled a 700-page indictment. the material was not new for us. but what was new was hearing it from the mouths of the witnesses. over and over. that made a big difference. >> then the young attorney had to prove the guilt of each individual defendant. that wasn't easy. special investigators helped them. the central commission for the investigation of nazi crimes was set up in 1958. it was tasked with hunting down not sees it was not at -- hunting down not seem -- hunting down nazis. it was not an easy task. the commission is still around and has just begun a new
investigation. it is preparing a case on dozens of alleged auschwitz guards. >> we came across a list of former wardens that auschwitz birkenau and we came up with a way to find out who is still alive. in the end, 49 names were left. >> the conviction of john danielle said a president. the former guard was found guilty of being accessory to the murders of nearly 30,000 people. now others like him may face trial. >> those convicted in 1963 never uttered a word of remorse. now, 50 years after the first auschwitz were criminals were put on trial in a german court room, other perpetrators must still fear the same fate. we all know the w's legendary camper van.
-- the w -- vw's legendary camper van. >> jesus is calling me. that is the nickname many brazilians give their vw, be -- vw comvi. a prayer is about daily protection for passengers. the model has hardly changed since production started in brazil 56 years ago. volkswagen's type to model is used from us everything in brazil. versatile and with a low price tag, the microbus is the workhorse of many small firms. he earns his living with the vw van. he uses his for his children's party hire service. and he has become a passionate fan of the vehicle and its merchandise.
>> i've been working with it since i was 18. but it has been there my entire life. my father had one. i was more or less rays inside one, watching my father worked. it is more than just a means of transportation. >> an outdoor market in são paulo. like the vendor next door, mario santos has been bringing his wares to the market for years in his convi. >> i bought in 1974 and it has been with me until now. it has given me the little that i have now. i don't agree with stopping production. i am totally against it. >> the first one in brazil was built in 1957. since then, 1.6 million have rolled off the factory line but production ends on december 20. at the start of the new year, airbags and antilock rates
become mandatory in brazil and, for vw, those modifications are too expensive. >> when germany's wisely the soccer begins there break, there is a long list of injured stars from many top teams. >> getting athletes back into activity is a big challenge for medical staff. >> at this training session, their squad has been hard hit by injury this season. >> we are relieved that the winter break is coming and we can take a breather. maybe we can deal with some injuries so a player or two can get back in action. >> they have lost the top striker, a defender and a midfielder to knee ligament
injuries. >> it is all more intense. players have to run more and faster. it is a passing game. players get far more ball contact and have to move a lot more. tackles are far more intense and all that leads to leave -- to knee ligaments tearing faster than they used to. >> besides professionals, he treats 180 other patients, many of them amateurs with knee injuries. such as marvin. he tore a crucial ligament in a local league match. for months, he has been putting in a to six hours of physio's terra be a day -- physiotherapy a day. >> everything is harder than before. you have to learn to walk again from scratch. you have to keep your knees aligned properly, make sure the feet are placed opportunity -- placed properly. i never knew before. i just ran around without
thinking and thought it all worked. >> muscle regeneration was considered key to physiotherapy. nowadays, core native capabilities are more desk warner to -- coordinative capabilities are more focused. class of has to be oriented training are you identify which players have balance problems and then you work in small groups and target a problem. and you get the next four players and do it again. >> the soccer players have one more game. then they and their ligaments can have a deserved rest. >> that is often out. stay tuned.