- Title: GERMANY: POLICE RAID OFFICES OF FORMER INTERIOR MINISTER MANFRED KANTHER.
- Date: 29th January 2000
- Summary: WIESBADEN, GERMANY (JANUARY 28, 2000) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV/MV/CU/PAN: HOUSE OF FORMER GERMAN INTERIOR MINISTER MANFRED KANTHER/ KANTHER LEAVING HOUSE, GETS INTO CAR, REVERSES UP STREET AND DRIVES OFF ROUND CORNER (5 SHOTS) 0.52 BERLIN, GERMANY (JANUARY 28, 2000) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 2. VARIOUS: EXTERIORS KANTHER OFFICES/ STATE PROSECUTORS LEAVING OFFICE BUILDING (6 SHOTS) 1.55 BERLIN, GERMANY (JANUARY 18, 2000) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 3. MV/PAN: KANTHER AT CDU PARTY BOARD MEETING 2.25 LEIPZIG, GERMANY (OCTOBER 15, 1997) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 4. GV/MV/CU: KANTHER AT CDU PARTY CONGRESS/ AUDIENCE (4 SHOTS) 2.52 UNIDENTIFED LOCATION, EASTERN GERMANY (FILE - 1998)(REUTERS -ACCESS ALL) 5. MV/GV/CU: KANTHER VISITING UNIT OF GERMAN BORDER POLICE (7 SHOTS) 3.35 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 13th February 2000 12:00
- Location: WIESBADEN, BERLIN AND LEIPZIG, GERMANY/ FILE
- Country: Germany
- Reuters ID: LVA6U52WOFTM5K1IZ0ZT37IVLVQW
- Story Text: German police have raided the offices of former
interior minister Manfred Kanther, searching for documents
linked to the campaign financing scandal swirling around
ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl.
A parliamentary spokesman said on Friday (January 28)
that Bundestag President Wolfgang Thierse had approved a
police request to search the Reichstag offices of Kanther, who
was Germany's top law-enforcement official from 1993 until
Kanther, whose home was also searched by
authorities,resigned his seat in parliament in disgrace last
week after admitting to involvement in the secret transfer
abroad of millions of marks (dollars) in Christian Democrat
paty (CDU) campaign funds.
Kanther was the leader of the CDU in Hesse state.The
Hesse CDU admitted on Thursday nearly 20 million marks (10
million U.S.dollars in undeclared campaign contributions had
been moved abroad in
the 1980s - double the original amount Kanther admitted.
Kohl, 69, remains at the centre of the affair.He is
facing a criminal investigation for accepting about one
million U.S.dollars in undeclared campaign donations between
1993 and 1998.A parliamentary inquiry has also been launched.
Kohl said he never took bribes or sold government favours,
but could not identify the donors because he gave them his
"word of honour".
His refusal to comply with laws requiring the donors be
identified has badly tarnished his image as a leading European
statesman and sent the CDU, which ruled the country for 37 of
the last 51 years, into a steep tailspin in voter surveys.
A poll for N-TV television on Friday found that the CDU
fell four points to 32 per cent in the last week.The survey
of some 1,000 voters by the Emnid Institute showed Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats gaining one point to 41
The CDU had been scoring as high as 48 per cent in surveys
published last autumn - riding a wave of voter disappointment
with Schroeder's centre-left government.But the party has
plummeted in the wake of Kohl's scandal.
Kohl's long-time financial adviser Horst Weyrauch, a key
figure in the scandal, quit the CDU, a party spokesman said on
Friday.The CDU said early this week it would take legal
action to force Weyrauch to reveal the names of the donors.
Despite the latest developments, the CDU is trying to put
the finance scandal behind them, saying they could do no more
to untangle Kohl's web of secret bank accounts.
CDU general secretary Angela Merkel said the CDU could not
persuade Kohl to reveal the source of the illegal donations
and there was not much else it could do.
Merkel said the party would not take legal steps against
Kohl and could not eject the former party chairman from his
seat in parliament because he was elected to it.
"There is not much more that we can do," Merkel said.
"There are not any more documents we can examine."
Kohl has avoided most public appearances since his
bombshell revelation and has failed to appear in parliament,
where he is an ordinary deputy, since November.
Wolfgang Schaeuble, his successor as CDU chief, said he
expected no more surprises and the affair would be soon be
forgotten."I am quite sure there won't be any more dramatic
developments," he told the Stuttgarter Nachtrichten newspaper.
He said that by the CDU's annual party congress in April
"the whole thing should be wrapped up."
But other CDU leaders said it was an outrage that Kohl was
breaking the law, and his refusal to cooperate in clearing up
the scandal was destroying once-bright CDU hopes in coming
state elections in Schleswig-Holstein and North
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