Fugitive German minister arrested in Paris

13th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 13 (AFP) - French police Tuesday arrested a former German minister who is wanted in his home country on suspicion of corruption and who disappeared five years ago, German and French officials said.

PARIS, July 13 (AFP) - French police Tuesday arrested a former German minister who is wanted in his home country on suspicion of corruption and who disappeared five years ago, German and French officials said.  

Holger Pfahls, who served as secretary of state for defence from 1989 to 1992 under chancellor Helmut Kohl, is suspected of tax fraud and of taking more than EUR 2 million (USD 2.4 million) in bribes in connection with the sale of 36 armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia.  

His arrest had been reported earlier by the online edition of the German magazine Der Spiegel and German television network ARD.  

A court in the southern city of Augsburg confirmed he had been arrested, as did French sources close to the investigation.  

Der Spiegel and ARD said Pfahls was arrested as he was leaving an apartment in an upmarket neighborhood of Paris.  

The public prosecutor's office in Augsburg said he had pocketed the equivalent of EUR 1.9 million during the first Gulf war in 1991 for helping German industrial giant Thyssen obtain a contract. The money was never declared to German tax authorities.  

Negotiations to strike the deal, which had been authorized by Kohl's government, were led by German-Canadian arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber, a key figure in a slush-fund scandal that undermined Kohl's Christian Democrat party.  

Schreiber has fled to Canada.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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