Section 17 – Reduction of the corporation’s sanction in the event of internal investigations

(1) The court should reduce the corporate sanction if

1. the corporation or the third party commissioned by it has made a significant contribution to the clarification of the corporate crime and the corporation’s responsibility

2. the third party commissioned or the persons acting on behalf of the third party commissioned in the internal investigations of the corporation are not defenders of the corporation or of an accused whose act is the basis for the sanction proceedings,

3. the corporation or the third party commissioned by it cooperates continuously and fully with the prosecuting authorities,

4. after completion of the internal investigation, the corporation or the third party commissioned by it shall make available to the prosecuting authorities the result of the internal investigation, including all documents essential to the internal investigation on which this result is based, as well as the final report and

5. the interviewing during the internal investigation is conducted in accordance with the principles of fair procedure, in particular

(a) interviewees are made aware before being interviewed that their information may be used in criminal proceedings against them

(b) interviewees are given the right to be accompanied by a lawyer or a member of the works council and are made aware of this right before the questioning takes place; and

(c) interviewees are granted the right to refuse to answer questions which, if answered, would endanger themselves or the relatives referred to in Section 52(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, to be prosecuted for a criminal offence or an administrative offence, and interviewees are made aware of this right before the questioning takes place.

(2) The execution of the internal investigation in accordance with the principles of (1) no. 5 shall be documented for the prosecuting authorities.

(3) In making the decision under (1), the court shall in particular take into account the nature and extent of the facts disclosed and their significance for the clarification of the offence, the time of disclosure and the extent of the support of the prosecuting authorities by the corporation. There shall be reduction according to (1) if the corporation discloses the results of the internal investigation only after the opening of the main proceedings (Section 203 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).