Son of former Bavarianleader jailed for tax fraud

15th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

15 July 2004 , BERLIN - The son of late Bavarian premier Franz Josef Strauss was convicted Thursday of tax evasion and sentenced to prison in connection with a series of murky international arms and aircraft deals. Max Strauss, 45, was given a 39-month prison term by an Augsburg court which convicted him of taking payments worth DEM 5.2 million (EUR 2.7 million) from a fugitive German arms dealer in connection with sales of Airbus jets and light tanks to Saudi Arabia, Canada and Thailand. The funds were st

15 July 2004

BERLIN - The son of late Bavarian premier Franz Josef Strauss was convicted Thursday of tax evasion and sentenced to prison in connection with a series of murky international arms and aircraft deals.

Max Strauss, 45, was given a 39-month prison term by an Augsburg court which convicted him of taking payments worth DEM 5.2 million (EUR 2.7 million) from a fugitive German arms dealer in connection with sales of Airbus jets and light tanks to Saudi Arabia, Canada and Thailand.

The funds were stashed in a secret Swiss bank account with account number given as "Maxwell" and no taxes were paid on the money, said prosecutors who had charged Strauss with tax evasion.

Lawyers for Strauss - who himself declined to make any statement during the six month trial - argued that their client never received any of the funds because the account was managed by arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber who has fled to Canada to avoid facing a trial in Germany.

Strauss is the son of former Bavarian prime minister Strauss, a legendary arch-conservative figure in post-war German politics who also served as defence minister from 1956 to 1962.

Both Strauss senior and junior were closely linked to former German domestic spy chief and deputy defence minister, Ludwig-Holger Pfahls, who was arrested earlier this week in Paris after five years on the run.

Pfahls is accused of taking a EUR 1.9 million bribe in connection with the same sale of tanks to Saudi Arabia in 1991 from which Max Strauss also apparently received payments.

A member of the Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) which ruled Germany under Chancellor Helmut Kohl from 1982 to 1998, Pfahls fled in 1999 just as an illegal donations scandal enveloped Kohl's party.

The arrest of Pfahls may trigger the reopening of a probe into the massive slush funds affair of Kohl's Christian Democrats.

DPA


Subject: German news

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