Hans Leyendecker, Germany, has been a political editor and columnist at the Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung since 1997.
Leyendecker established himself as one of Germany’s premier investigative journalists in an 18-year career with the influential weekly newsmagazine Der Spiegel, breaking stories on illegal campaign finances, political connections to weapons deals, and plutonium smuggling. For his probe into the tax evasion of the father of German tennis star Steffi Graf, Leyendecker received death threats from adoring Graf fans.
Leyendecker has written books on the Graf tax evasion affair, German weapons exports to Iraq before the Gulf War, and euthanasia in Germany.
Before leaving Der Spiegel, Leyendecker had been special projects editor. At the mass circulation Süddeutsche Zeitung, Leyendecker has sought to bring more in-depth, “weekly style” investigations to the daily newspaper.
In 2000, Leyendecker co-authored a 600-page investigation the illicit financial dealings of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, titled Helmut Kohl, die Macht und das Geld (Helmut Kohl: The Power and the Money).