Kinowelt co-founder Michael Koelmel faces apossible nine-year prison sentence for claims of embezzlement, fraud anddelaying the filing of insolvency.

The case against Koelmel opened in mid-April inMunich's District Court, and centres on the bankruptcy of Kinowelt in 2001.

In their closing speeches on Tuesday, publicprosecutors Markus Kammann and Mathias Buering called for a total prisonsentence of nine years, claiming that Koelmel had channelled around Euros 30minto his own pocket and had acted "out of pure self-interest" and"with high criminal energy." Kinowelt's supervisory board, the publicand the small shareholders had been "methodically" lied to, theydeclared.

According to Financial Times Deutschland,Koelmel reacted to the prosecution's closing words with a smile and indicatedthat his defence counsel Kurt Broeckers would plead not guilty in his summingup. Koelmel dismissed the accusations as "incomprehensible" andprotested his innocence, claiming that he had never wanted to damage Kinowelt. reported that Koelmel's lawyerswere prepared to accept the accusation of delaying the filing of insolvency andsuggested that the imposition of a fine of 90 daily rates would be"sufficient." The level of sentence demanded by the prosecution, though,was "absurd", they said.

The judgement on Koelmel's case is due to bepronounced on Thursday (July 22).