ARCHIV - 01.06.2022, Sachsen, Leipzig: Patricia Schlesinger, Intendantin des rbb und ARD-Vorsitzende, spricht auf dem Eröffnungspanel der Medientage Mitteldeutschland. (zu dpa "Vorwürfe gegen Intendantin: RBB leitet unabhängige Untersuchung ein") Foto: Hendrik Schmidt/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

“It is with great regret that the committee members noted that you had not accepted the invitation to the committee meeting (…).” These were the words in a letter from the main committee of the Brandenburg state parliament to Patricia Schlesinger, director of Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg.

Despite the parliamentary summer break, the members of the committee met in Potsdam on Tuesday to talk about the recently made, but nonetheless serious, allegations against the RBB leadership. But neither the director nor the head of the board of directors, Wolf-Dieter Wolf, and the chairwoman of the broadcasting council, Friederike von Kirchbach, who is not part of the allegations, did not accept the invitation.

On Thursday, the chairman of the committee, Daniel Keller (SPD), wrote a letter with 24 questions to the director, which is available to the Tagesspiegel.

This was preceded by a unanimous decision by the committee on Tuesday to respond to the absence of the director and the committee chairpersons by first collecting the questions from the parties represented in the committee and then summarizing them by the committee chairperson.

The resolution also means that Patricia Schlesinger will personally answer questions from the Brandenburg parliamentarians as soon as the results of the audit commissioned by RBB are available. The Chair of the Broadcasting Council, the Deputy Chair of the Administrative Board and the Chair of the Staff Council are also invited.

Shortly after the allegations became known, the Brandenburg State Chancellery addressed a first catalog of questions to Schlesinger and other leading representatives of the broadcaster. The state of Brandenburg is responsible for the media supervision of the RBB.

Some of the questions from the committee members were already discussed in Tuesday’s meeting. So also the question, “against which publications/claims by the magazine ‘Business Insider’ or other media in connection with the allegations discussed here have you personally and/or rbb taken press and expression law action so far”?

The committee members also want to know what the assignment to the external law firm Lutz Abel looks like, how the law firm was selected, or whether there have already been business or personal relationships with the law firm.

But the MPs are also interested in the question of whether “Ms. Schlesinger’s husband’s consultancy contract is also the subject of the investigation”. This topic is taken up in another question. Patricia Schlesinger is supposed to explain “through whom, at what time and how (…) the director became aware of the initiation and conclusion of a contract for media consulting services between her husband and the management of Messe Berlin”?

The questions about the consulting contracts for the digital media house take up a lot of space. Among other things, it is about how many contracts have been concluded and what their financial scope is. This question also includes the sentence: “On what legal basis does the director of the rbb believe, with reference to an internal compliance investigation, to be able to refuse information to the parliamentary committee responsible for the media in the state of Brandenburg?”

After six questions about the “meetings in the artistic director’s private apartment that included expenses,” Schlesinger was finally asked whether she was prepared “to have the processes subjected to a voluntary audit by the Brandenburg State Audit Office and/or the Berlin Audit Office?”

“The director, the board of directors and the broadcasting council are asked to answer the questions within a period of 14 days,” the letter said.