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Deutsche Bank has sacked two senior executives for spying on its board of directors and two other people.

Prosecutors, data protection officials and financial regulators are all investigating the bank for allegedly spying on its own chief operating officer, a board member, an activist shareholder and a media mogul. The bank is awaiting results of its own investigation into the incidents which took place between 2001 and 2007.

The bank hired a law firm to find out just what spying was carried out on behalf of the firm - it hired private investigators to do the dirty work. As a result of this probe it has sacked its head of corporate security and its head of investor relations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The bank declined to comment until its own report is completed, which should be within the next few weeks. That document will then go to the board which will decide what further action to take.

But regardless of their decision the bank may face further prosecutions. Data protection regulators have already sent large quantities of evidence to prosecutors, who will need several weeks to decide if further action is required.

Deutsche Bank could also face private prosecutions from the named individuals it spied on.

The case has been widely reported in Germany where it has revived memories of the Stasi, East Germany's vast internal secret police force. Those with shorter memories might be reminded of Deutsche Telekom or HP. ®

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