CDU slush-fund scandal figure Schreiber denies charges

CDU slush-fund scandal figure Schreiber denies charges
A file photo of Karlheinz Schreiber in Canada. Photo: DPA
Karlheinz Schreiber, the German-Canadian weapons lobbyist and key figure in a political slush-fund scandal, was formally charged on Tuesday with tax evasion, bribery and fraud.

His lawyer denied he was guilty of any offence.

The 75-year-old arrived in Munich yesterday morning after finally losing a 10-year-battle against extradition from Canada. He is wanted in connection with a political party donations scandal with the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) during the Helmut Kohl era.

Judge Rudolf Weigell also deemed Schreiber a flight risk due to his dual citizenship and ample means and ordered that he stay in jail until trial, court spokesman Karl-Heinz Haeusler told reporters from outside the Augsburg court house. The media was not allowed in the courtroom during the brief hearing.

The charges are related to an allegation that Schreiber gave former CDU treasurer Walther Leisler Kiep a briefcase with €511,000 (1 million German Marks) in a parking lot in Switzerland in 1991, which prosecutors claim then flowed into party coffers.

The resulting investigation forced former Chancellor Helmut Kohl to relinquish his post as honorary chairman of the CDU in 1999.

No trial date has been set yet.

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