German journalist in scandal says he didn't use donor money

December 27, 2018 - 2:02 pm

BERLIN (AP) — Lawyers for a German journalist found to have fabricated information say he denies having used for himself donations meant for nonexistent Syrian siblings.

Claas Relotius' ex-employer, Der Spiegel magazine, said Sunday he had asked readers for donations to be transferred to his private bank account and it would work with prosecutors to find out details.

A Hamburg law firm representing Relotius said Thursday that, after being contacted by readers who wanted to donate money for the Syrian children he had written about, he offered to collect and forward donations. It said he kept up the pretense of the children's existence but never intended to use the donations for himself.

It said he forwarded the 7,000 euros ($7,970) he received to a German charity's project to support refugee children in Iraq.

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