Police search offices of German seniors' party

10th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

10 October 2007, Wuppertal, Germany (dpa) - Police on Wednesday raided the offices of the German seniors' party, The Greys, and quizzed its founder on suspicion of financial irregularities.

10 October 2007

Wuppertal, Germany (dpa) - Police on Wednesday raided the offices of the German seniors' party, The Greys, and quizzed its founder on suspicion of financial irregularities.

Some 60 officers were involved in the action, that also included searches of private homes and foundations with close links to the party in Berlin, Bavaria and North-Rhine Westphalia.

Prosecutors said a fraud investigation was launched against chairwoman Trude Unruhe, the 82-year-old woman who founded the party in 1989, and four other people.

They are accused of violating Germany's strict political party financing laws and obtaining money by false pretences from the federal parliament in Berlin.

Prosecutors are investigating claims that the party, formerly known as the Grey Panthers, fraudulently claimed state subsidies by falsifying receipts for donations and declaring party meetings as training courses.

In some cases, the party claimed money for events that did not take place, according to the prosecutor's office in the western city of Wuppertal, where The Greys has its headquarters.

The party's main areas of focus are the protection of the interests of seniors and the securing of stable pensions. They are also active on environmental issues.

In the last national election in 2005, The Greys won 0.4 per cent of the vote. In state elections they have polled between 1 and 3 per cent, not enough to gain parliamentary representation.

DPA

Subject: German news

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