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Caroline Wyatt in Berlin
"Helmut Kohl stands accused of hiding major donations to his Christian Democrat party"
 real 28k

Monday, 10 January, 2000, 21:49 GMT
German party funding scandal widens

Schaeuble Mr Schaeuble admitted the donation had not been made public


The leader of Germany's opposition Christian Democrats, Wolfgang Schaeuble, has admitted being involved in a party cash donation row surrounding former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Kohl under fire
  • Reputation at risk
  • The scandal so far
  • The unification
    chancellor

  • Mr Schaeuble told German television that he had taken cash from an arms dealer which was not declared - in breach of a party financing law.

    He said the DM100,000 ($52,000) donation from Karlheinz Schreiber in 1994 had been registered in the party books as "special income".

    Mr Schaeuble blamed the then party treasurer for not declaring the cash contribution, saying he noticed it had not been made public while re-examining party finances.

    Mr Schrieber, who is being investigated in Germany for tax evasion, has been a key figure in the funding scandal centred on Mr Kohl.

    The scandal was exposed in November when the ruling Social Democrats launched an investigation into claims that Mr Schrieber had made a DM1m donation in 1991 linked to weapons sales.

    Additional responsibility

    Mr Schaeuble also told the television programme that he and other party members bore some responsibility for the funding scandal.


    Mr Kohl The funding scandal has so far centred around Mr Kohl

    He said party donations and accounts had not been checked as thoroughly as they would be now.

    Mr Schaeuble renewed his pledge to probe the financial irregularities. But he said there was no reason for him to resign.

    Until now, Mr Kohl had always insisted he acted alone and bore full responsibility for concealing substantial cash donations to the CDU over a period of years.

    He denied using them himself, saying the funds were used to help establish the CDU in eastern Germany after reunification 1990.

    Prosecutors in Berlin last week began a case against Mr Kohl for possible breach of trust.

    The BBC's Caroline Wyatt in Berlin says it now seems likely that the state prosecutor will also turn the spotlight onto Mr Schaeuble.

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    See also:
    03 Jan 00 |  Europe
    Cash scandal threatens Kohl legacy
    30 Nov 99 |  Europe
    Analysis: Kohl under fire
    04 Jan 00 |  Europe
    Kohl's mark on history
    27 Sep 98 |  Europe
    Kohl's long reign over

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