After rumours that he may just pitch, Markus Jooste reverted to type by dodging the first day of his criminal trial this week at the regional court in Oldenburg, 25km from Steinhoff’s former European headquarters in northern Germany.

It wouldn’t have surprised those who saw Jooste use every Stalingrad-style tactic to avoid having to answer questions in parliament in September 2018. And yet, Jooste’s German lawyer Bernd Gross argued that “we [did] everything we [could] to allow him to attend this trial”, Bloomberg reported...

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