CDU donation affair
The CDU donation affair or black money affair is generally used to describe the illegal donation practice of the CDU in the 1990s under the then CDU party chairman and Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl .
Overview of the process
The affair began in November 1999 when the Augsburg District Court issued an arrest warrant against the then CDU treasurer Walther Leisler Kiep on suspicion of tax evasion , who then turned himself in to the public prosecutor's office on November 5, 1999 .
Kiep was accused of receiving 1 million DM as a donation for the CDU from the arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber in 1991 and not paying tax on it. However, the donation was not passed on to the CDU. Horst Weyrauch , Treasurer Kiep and his authorized representative Uwe Lüthje had divided the money among themselves. As it later turned out, it was a commission payment by Thyssen AG in the amount of 1.3 million DM, which had been handed over in cash in 1991 on a parking lot in Switzerland. Chancellor Kohl initially stated that he had not known anything about this donation. He also denied allegations that there was a link to bribery payments in the delivery of tanks to Saudi Arabia .
On November 26, 1999, the former CDU General Secretary Heiner Geißler admitted that the CDU had “black accounts” in the Kohl era. Other former general secretaries of the CDU stated that they did not know anything about it. Helmut Kohl confirmed the existence of these accounts, which he had previously denied, in a television interview on November 30, 1999. Kohl assumed political responsibility for errors in the CDU finances during his tenure and stated that he had accepted 2.1 million DM of covert and thus illegal party donations bypassing the CDU's books.
A few days later, Kohl resigned from the office of honorary chairman under pressure from the CDU leadership. He rejected allegations that political decisions on arms deliveries and the sale of the mineral oil refineries in Leuna could be bought (see Leuna affair and other affairs, see below).
As a consequence of this affair, a Bundestag committee of inquiry was set up, which met from December 1999 to June 2002, and the law on political parties was tightened with a view to greater transparency for party donations.
In the course of the investigation it turned out that the CDU apparently had numerous shadow accounts, including a foundation called Norfolk in Switzerland . These accounts did not appear in the required financial statements and were used to cover up illegal party donations.
Since such shadow accounts represented a violation of the applicable party donation law, the then President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Thierse blocked the payment of a total of 21 million euros in reimbursement of election campaign costs to the CDU.
On December 4, 2017, a television documentary was broadcast by SWR and ARD and a report appeared in the Spiegel about Kohl's role in the donation affair. In both reports, Kohl's version that he had given four to five donors his word of honor not to reveal their names was rated as “absolutely untrustworthy”. Kohl's employees in the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus had operated a system of secret cash registers since the 1970s, from which Kohl would have used as needed - not for his own gain, but for his own political advantage. The money in these coffers came from industry and was whitewashed in Switzerland . The money moved via Switzerland alone amounted to around 200 million euros. In 2015, during Kohl's lifetime, this version was confirmed by Wolfgang Schäuble in an interview.
Exemplary list of "donations"
- Bavarian Bitumen Chemistry (20,000 DM)
- Ferrero to the CDU (1 million DM)
- Group donation from 1990 (600,000 DM)
- Kiep donation (1 million DM)
- "Funds of unknown origin" for the period from 1989 to 1992 (10 million DM)
- Schreiber donation to Schäuble (100,000 DM)
- Ehlerding donation (5.9 million DM); however, Karl Ehlerding's donation was considered formally legal, possibly due to a lack of evidence. The donation from the entrepreneurial couple Ehlerding is the highest single donation any party has ever received. The Ehlerdings had won the bid for the 110,000 railway workers' apartments advertised by the federal government ; therefore there was suspicion of influencing the decision to sell.
- Transfer of 6 million DM of the CDU in 1982 from the parliamentary group to the party. However, this violation has only been subject to sanctions since 1984.
- Donations complex Doerfert (325,000 DM): the former Trier Caritas -Director Hans-Joachim Doerfert had pieced 1996 after CDU have 325,000 DM in 29 individual donations of less than $ 20,000, in order not to appear in the annual report. The individual donations were transferred to the Rhineland-Palatinate regional association .
- Advertising campaign for a book by the then Hessian CDU top candidate Roland Koch (175,000 DM): The publisher "Hunzinger Public Relations" invested 175,000 DM more money in the PR measure than the book could ever generate. The CDU said that a publisher has to accept losses at short notice, for example to make himself known.
- Other donations that were initially undeclared or incorrectly declared were subsequently included in the accounts by the CDU so that they were formally correct.
The presidium and the executive committee of the CDU broke on January 18, 2000 with their honorary chairman Helmut Kohl and expressed their confidence in Schäuble . Kohl abandoned the honorary chairmanship of his own accord. The next day, Angela Merkel confirmed that when checking the CDU cash books, millions more “of unknown origin” from Kohl's term in office had been discovered.
On February 23, 2000, the CDU canceled receptions for Kohl's 70th birthday on April 3. On March 9, 2000, Kohl announced that he had now collected money from donors in a "collection campaign" in order to compensate for the financial damage for the CDU.
On August 6, 2000, based on a report by SPIEGEL, it became known that Kohl had used the roughly DM 2 million illegally collected donations differently than he had previously claimed. The donated money was then not mainly spent on building up the CDU in the new federal states, but mainly on CDU election campaigns and opinion polls. The Bonn public prosecutor's office confirmed the SPIEGEL report.
On August 12, 2000, according to the ZDF, it became known that the former CDU representative, Uwe Luethje, was seriously incriminating Helmut Kohl. In his written interrogation by the Bundestag investigative committee, Luethje stated that he had reported to Kohl in 1992 about the closure of a hidden party account in Switzerland. It was a total of 1.5 million Swiss francs . This money was then divided equally between the then treasurer Walther Leisler Kiep, the financial advisor Horst Weyrauch and himself - Luethje. Until then, Kohl had always denied having known about the account. On August 25, 2000, Kohl came under further pressure: Immediately after his election in 1982, Kohl is said to have personally initiated the establishment of the CDU's black funds. According to reports in the Süddeutsche Zeitung , around 6 million DM were secretly transferred from the CDU parliamentary group to the CDU; On Kohl's instructions, the money had been handed over to Uwe Lüthje, the chief representative of the CDU treasury at the time, through an intermediary from the CDU parliamentary group. This money was then hidden in trust accounts via the party's financial advisor at the time, Horst Weyrauch. Kohl explained that he had " no specific memory of this process, which happened 18 years ago ". He thinks it " but it is conceivable that all options of the parliamentary group were used before the difficult Bundestag election campaign in March 1983 ".
On September 15, 2000, the Berliner Zeitung reported that investigations by the auditing company Ernst & Young in connection with the financial affair of the Hessian CDU were burdening Helmut Kohl. In a handwritten note dated February 2000, the auditors had voiced the suspicion that one of the amounts of cash that Kohl claims to have received from donors in the 1990s had actually flowed from one of the Hesse CDU's Swiss accounts. The note in question relates to the 1993 payment of DM 900,000 into a trust account of the Federal CDU. Kohl, on the other hand, had stated that it was a donation from one of the donors, whose name he refused to reveal.
At the beginning of December 2000, the CDU lost a further 7.7 million DM from state party funding as a result of the donations collected by Kohl according to his account. Kohl still refused to give the names of the alleged donors. The CDU, as the financially injured party, could have legally forced Helmut Kohl to name the donors by imprisonment, but apparently refrained from doing so in order to avert further political damage.
In August 2015, Wolfgang Schäuble stated in a television documentary by Stephan Lamby that in truth there were no donors. Rather, the money comes from the CDU's black coffers that were invested at the time of the Flick affair ; Schäuble put this statement into perspective again (“Maybe there are also donors”).
On 12 April 2000 it was announced that as part of the investigation against the ostrich -son Max Strauss whose seized laptop - hard disk had disappeared mysteriously, and this for the custody of the prosecutor's office or a designated by the prosecutor sworn expert. The hard drive is said to have contained important data that could have helped to clarify the connections between Schreiber, Strauss, CDU, etc.
The donations from the Hessen CDU
After the donation affair of the federal CDU, a donation affair of the Hessian CDU became known. There, among others, the former Federal Minister of the Interior Manfred Kanther and the former CDU state treasurer Casimir Johannes Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg had booked several illegal party donations as the alleged inheritance of German Jews (the so-called "Jewish legacies"). The opposition in the Hessian state parliament criticized in particular that these funds were also used to finance the election campaign under Roland Koch .
In mid-January 2000, the former Hessian CDU chairman Manfred Kanther admitted that he had transferred a total of 8 million DM from the state CDU abroad in 1983 and that remittances disguised as bequests or loans. However, the Hessian CDU leader Roland Koch reported on January 27, 2000 that in 1983 not 8 million DM but 18 million DM had been transferred to Switzerland . During the affair, Roland Koch said he wanted to clear up the donation affair "as brutally as possible"; It later emerged that Koch himself was involved in disguising the funds in question as "loans". Koch therefore had to admit the so-called “star singing lie”: despite repeated inquiries, he had withheld from journalists the back-dating of a loan agreement for DM 2 million, which was supposed to justify the flow of money in the party accounts. Nevertheless, despite indignation in the media and the public as well as calls for resignation from the SPD and the Greens , Koch remained in the office of prime minister because the support of his party and the coalition partner FDP protected him from a vote of no confidence . The opposition in the Hessian state parliament criticized in particular that Koch's 1998/1999 election campaign had been partially financed by the black funds, and tried to have the election canceled. The Hessian state election was subsequently examined by the electoral examination court. After the Federal Constitutional Court had set the standards for a possible contestation of the election, the Hessian election review court declared the election to be valid.
On August 5, 2000, the auditors commissioned by the Hessian Union declared that they felt “objectively deceived” by the CDU state chairman and prime minister Roland Koch. The managing director of the auditors, Hans-Joachim Jacobi , also told the investigative committee of the Hessian state parliament that he had turned to the Wiesbaden public prosecutor's office in order to be able to inspect the confiscated CDU documents on the black money affair. The report on the corrected CDU statement of accounts for 1998 would never have been signed if it had been known that the declaration of completeness of the documents made by Koch and his then General Secretary Herbert Müller was incorrect. In addition, the auditors did not know that a loan of DM 1 million, which was shown in the supplementary audit report from 1999, had only been backdated a few days earlier. Koch and Müller would have known this when they submitted the annual report for 1998.
On August 25, 2000 it became known that there were more irregularities in the incomplete statement of accounts of the Hessen CDU from the end of 1999 than was known up to then. According to statements by the auditor, Karl-Heinz Barth, around 190,000 DM were incorrectly booked in the report, which had already been corrected. The money was listed as “other income”, although an internal note cited donations as the source. In fact, however, the money came from black accounts in Switzerland. Further allegations were also made against Roland Koch: He is said to have testified wrongly before the Bundestag committee of inquiry into the CDU financial affair. Before that, Union member Frank Lortz had declared in a committee meeting of the Hessian state parliament that the entire CDU parliamentary group - including Koch - had been informed about the embezzlement of parliamentary group funds between 1988 and 1992. Koch himself, however, had stated before the Bundestag committee of inquiry that he had only been informed of this incident by Manfred Kanther in the summer of 1993. Koch continued to stick to his account: “ I have no recollection of an audit report that reported embezzlement in the CDU parliamentary group. "
The former CDU accountant Franz-Josef Reischmann had embezzled around 1.8 million DM from the Hessian CDU between 1988 and 1992 and another 336,000 DM from the CDU faction; probably the CDU compensated for this financial damage from the black coffers.
At the beginning of September 2000, the Hessian CDU and Prime Minister Koch came under increasing pressure: In the meantime, the CDU has been accused of having used the CDU-affiliated Hessian Academy for Civic Education as a money laundering facility in 1998 and 1999 . The Liability Association of German Industry (HDI) confirmed in SPIEGEL that it had paid a total of DM 450,000 to that foundation in 1998 and 1999 to support Koch.
According to reports from the DPA news agency , the Hessen-CDU also kept black accounts under party chairman Roland Koch, who at that time had already been in the office of the Hessian Prime Minister since January 1999. Although at this point Koch had already promised the "most brutal possible clarification" of the affair, CDU functionaries had presented "freelancers" with ready-made fee contracts for signature; these freelance workers at the party headquarters were paid for from a secret donation fund.
Furthermore, a cash book for a black fund of the CDU was forged. The book is said to have been destroyed after the first search of the CDU headquarters in Wiesbaden in January 2000; a cash book found later is said to have been made retrospectively with incorrect entries.
In 1994, Horst Weyrauch reportedly received around 20,000 euros in black money from the CDU party leader Petra Roth . This realization put an end to the cooperation between the SPD and CDU in the Frankfurt city parliament in 2000.
According to the findings of the public prosecutor's office in the course of the house searches, further donations of approx. 230,000 DM were found on black accounts at a Rhineland-Palatinate local association ( Grünstadt near Worms ), which were not specified in the statement of accounts.
The former Federal Minister of the Interior and former state chairman of the Hessian CDU, Manfred Kanther , declared on January 14, 2000 that the CDU had set up secret foreign accounts and declared them to be "legacies". He brought the money to Switzerland himself . On May 13, 2000, Kanther stood before a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the CDU party donation affair and commented that the public prosecutor's office was investigating him. In 1983, during Kanther's tenure as General Secretary of the Hessen CDU, around 20.8 million DM were transferred to black accounts in Switzerland and later brought back as required. In this context, Kanther referred to (s) a " poor memory ", since when the events became known in January 2000, he assumed a sum of money of a maximum of 9 million DM. Likewise, Kanther could not explain where the money originally came from and who the donors were. Furthermore, he could not give any information about the whereabouts of a sum of over DM 600,000; But Kanther was certain that nobody had enriched himself privately.
Entanglements of the Ferrero group
On July 15, 2000 it became known that the public prosecutor's office had discovered another DM 1 million in black money from the Hessian CDU . This money apparently came from the confectionery manufacturer Ferrero and has flowed in cash into the party fund of the state association of the Hesse CDU over the past 20 years. For the eighties, the amount could only be estimated as there were no more documents. These funds were not properly recorded as a donation. According to the auditing office of the Marburg-Biedenkopf district , the company has for years made insufficiently low trade tax prepayments for its plant in Stadtallendorf in central Hesse . While the auditors considered advance payments of DM 40.2 million each to be appropriate for 1993 and 1994, the financial administration of the CDU-governed municipality only set DM 6.8 million. Ferrero therefore had to pay additional business taxes of 52 million DM for its plant in Central Hesse for the years 1994 to 1996. However, Ferrero was able to generate an estimated DM 13 million in interest money through the low advance payments .
Manfred Kanther had advised the confectionery group Ferrero in 1999. Ferrero had donated almost 1 million DM to the CDU since the early 1980s, which were taken and spent in black.
Walther Leisler Kiep
On April 13, 2000, a letter from the former CDU treasurer Walther Leisler Kiep to the then Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl was published: In 1993, in this letter, Kiep asked Kohl for help for the gun lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber, referring to the highly explosive delivery of Fuchs anti-tank vehicles to Saudi Arabia 1991. At the time, the Bild-Zeitung quoted Kiep's letter to Kohl as follows: “Dear Helmut, you will surely remember the help and support in the 'Fuchs systems' affair, which was provided to Saudi Arabia at the time were delivered. The initiative came from Mr. Karlheinz Schreiber, who has worked for Thyssen in Ottawa "Below Kiep campaigned for a new writer project, the establishment of a. Thyssen - tank factory in Canada :" I would have you connected deeply grateful if you Help Mr. Schreiber and thus implement a considerable job creation and job retention project for us. ”On April 27, 2000, Kiep was unable to give a plausible answer to the question of what had become of the 1.5 million Swiss francs from the Norfolk Foundation, which Lüthje and Weyrauch had maintained in Liechtenstein . Weyrauch claimed that Kiep received cash after that foundation was dissolved. But Kiep did not want to be able to remember such a process. The SPD and the Greens, on the other hand, saw the suspicion that the Kohl government was commercially viable as confirmed. Representatives of both parties mainly referred to an incomplete statement by Kiep about an armaments project by Thyssen. At first Kiep only admitted forwarding only one letter from the arms dealer Schreiber to Kohl. An SPD MP then confronted the former CDU treasurer with another letter in which Kiep asked Kohl about the progress of the project. In 1991, Schreiber donated DM 1 million to the CDU on behalf of Thyssen. Kiep accepted this donation back then.
On February 16, 2000, Schäuble declared that he would no longer run as chairman of the party or parliamentary group. Friedrich Merz was then elected as the new parliamentary group leader and Angela Merkel as the new party leader. Schäuble remained a member of the CDU presidium.
Schäuble had previously admitted on January 10, 2000 that he had received a cash donation of 100,000 DM for the CDU from the arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber in 1994. On January 31, 2000, Schäuble admitted another meeting with Schreiber in 1995. The treasury of the CDU had booked the amount as "other income".
Schäuble claimed that he had personally received the money in an envelope from Schreiber in his Bonn office. He passed this envelope on to Brigitte Baumeister " unopened and unchanged "; later he learned that the donation had not been “ properly handled ”. After he became aware of the investigation against Schreiber, he asked the treasurer Baumeister for a receipt for the donation, so that someone would not get “ stupid ideas ” later .
During the investigation into the CDU donation affair, the CDU treasurer at the time, Brigitte Baumeister, contradicted Schäuble's version regarding the whereabouts of the 100,000 DM donation made by the arms lobbyist. Baumeister said she picked up an envelope from Schreiber and delivered it to Schäuble; later she received the money in question (the 100,000 DM) from Schäuble.
This money did not appear in any CDU report . Schreiber also did not receive a donation receipt for the money payment. On April 13, 2000, Schäuble declared before the Bundestag committee of inquiry into the CDU party donation affair that the CDU leadership and the federal government under Helmut Kohl had not been bribed. In June 2000, Schreiber filed a criminal complaint against Schäuble for perjury in connection with the donation . The preliminary investigation against Schäuble for unduly false testimony has been discontinued, as has the investigation against Brigitte Baumeister. The Berlin public prosecutor's office was unable to find sufficient suspicion to be charged.
According to the information provided by the public prosecutor at the time, it can be assumed that the 100,000 DM was donated only once. There was speculation about the question of whether Schreiber had possibly given 100,000 DM twice: once as an “harmless” election campaign donation for the CDU, another time possibly as a bribe for an armaments project.
It is also unclear where the 100,000 DM went. According to statements made by Horst Weyrauch , the CDU auditor at the time , he received 100,000 DM from master builder Jürgen Schornack's office manager . He - Weyrauch - then handed this money over to the former treasurer Walther Leisler Kiep , who is said to have put the money in his jacket pocket. The money finally flowed through an account from Kiep to accounts of the federal office of the CDU, which Kiep denied.
Franz Josef Jung
In the course of the CDU donation affair, Franz Josef Jung had to resign on September 7, 2000 because, as Secretary General of the Hessian CDU at the end of the 1980s, he was responsible for the financing of election campaigns and the construction of a new party headquarters from "Jewish legacies" camouflaged black money was charged.
Committee of Inquiry
On December 2, 1999, the Bundestag set up a committee of inquiry to clarify the question of whether party donations had an influence on political decisions by the Kohl government. Kohl also remained silent before the investigative committee, refused to testify and allegedly knew nothing. Kohl did not want to be able to detect any violation of the Basic Law and the Party Law; he still saw himself in the right. Instead, he accused the governing parties of the ( Red-Green Coalition ) "anti-constitutional"; The crime scene is the Chancellery. He implied that the new government had made the files disappear. He had completely denied the existence of the missing files when he first testified before the investigative committee. One thing was certain of his - Kohl's - opinion: his policy was " never for sale ".
Public Prosecutor Augsburg
In the opinion of the chairman of the Bundestag committee of inquiry, Volker Neumann , considerable parts of the affair remained in the dark. Prosecutor Winfried Maier and Chief Public Prosecutor Jörg Hillinger (both from the Augsburg Public Prosecutor's Office ), who decisively pushed the investigation forward against the opposition of Public Prosecutor Hermann Froschauer ( Munich Public Prosecutor's Office ), made great contributions to the investigation.
In 1995, during tax investigations against the entrepreneur Schreiber, Hillinger came across bribe payments in the millions to top politicians of the CDU and CSU . He publicly stated several times that his investigations had been hindered from above. In February 1999 he accused the head of the Bavarian Ministry of Justice, Wolfgang Held (CSU), of having passed the results of the investigation on to the Bavarian state government .
On March 17, 2000, the Augsburg public prosecutor brought charges against Kiep and Schreiber and against the former Thyssen managers Jürgen Maßmann and Winfried Haastert . The arrest warrant against Holger Pfahls was canceled by Froschauer. Pfahls used this release to flee for five years. In April 1999, Chief Public Prosecutor Hillinger was killed in a spectacular car accident. Experts from the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office later examined the accident vehicle for possible tampering, but could not find any relevant evidence. A short time later, the fact that various memos from the deceased had been blacked out by order of his successor , as leaked to the press from the public prosecutor's office , caused a considerable stir . Because of these events, which did not have any legal consequences, there was widespread public opinion in Augsburg that Hillinger had been murdered and that there was no longer any question of a real legal investigation.
Walter Wallmann became regional party chairman of the CDU on December 18, 1982 and was Prime Minister of Hesse from April 23, 1987 to April 5, 1991; after his defeat in the state elections on January 20, 1991, he gave up the office of state party chairman in the same year. On May 18, 2000, Wallmann had to testify before the committee of inquiry and once again confirmed the ignorance of all leading CDU politicians. He called the transfer of 22 million DM in 1983 - during his tenure as state party chairman - to black accounts of the CDU a "considerable mistake", which he did not know about. The transaction was allegedly not communicated to him by the treasurer Casimir Johannes Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and the then general secretary Manfred Kanther .
Hans Terlinden was one of those people who knew his way around Kohl's financial system and was considered to be one of the “experts” of the “Kohl system”. In 1966 Kohl brought Terlinden to Mainz. Terlinden became the CDU country manager. In this role he kept Kohl up to date on the CDU in Mainz after Kohl had become Federal Chancellor. In 1989 Terlinden Kohl followed to Bonn.
As head of the CDU administration, Terlinden organized the CDU party headquarters in Bonn and thus had direct contact with Kohl. Terlinden was always a "staunch party soldier" and was considered to be Kohl's closest confidante. This loyalty cost him in December 1999 the post of "Chief Financial Officer", which he had held for 10 years: Terlinden had not passed on important documents to clarify the donation affair to party leader Wolfgang Schäuble, but to Kohl. The public prosecutor's office was investigating Terlinden on suspicion of infidelity.
The investigative committee of the Bundestag to investigate the CDU party funding scandal took on 23 March 2000 Hans Terlinden due to testify at the highest possible fine of 1,000 DM and threatened to coercive detention. Because of Terlinden's persistent refusal to give evidence, the investigative committee decided on April 6, 2000 to apply to the Tiergarten District Court for preliminary detention against Terlinden. This application was rejected as unfounded by the local court on July 10, 2000.
Findings of the Ministry of State Security
At the end of March 2000 it became known that the GDR Ministry for State Security had been informed about Swiss accounts and black donations from the West CDU since 1976 at the latest. According to the authorities of the Federal Commissioner for Stasi Records, the Stasi eavesdropped on Uwe Lüthje , Horst Weyrauch , Walther Leisler Kiep and Helmut Kohl, among others . There are hundreds of minutes that could be given to the committee of inquiry. The latter did not evaluate the wiretapping protocols with reference to the protection of the spoken word in the Basic Law, the illegality of wiretapping or for political and moral reasons.
In April 2000, the Federal Ministry of the Interior made public that Stasi tapping logs of West German politicians who were federally owned had been destroyed shortly before reunification, following a decision by the Kohl government.
"Federal Erasure Days"
Burkhard Hirsch ( FDP ) was used by the then red-green federal government ( Schröder I cabinet ) to clear up the affair surrounding the missing Leuna files. In his investigation report of June 12, 2000, he came to the conclusion that before Kohl was handed over to Schröder , a considerable amount of sensitive files had apparently been destroyed or removed in the Federal Chancellery . When the Leunawerke and VEB Minol were sold , bribes amounting to 85 million DM are said to have flowed. On June 24, 2000, Hirsch reported that some files from former Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl that had previously disappeared had been found. The documents also contained a business card from arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber. The Berliner Morgenpost reported that Hirsch had also come across documents relating to the planned sale of helicopters to Canada ("Bearhead Project") and the economic summit in June 1995 in Halifax . Some data could be reconstructed from the hard drives that were erased in the Chancellery before Kohl's end of office; these were also handed over to the committee of inquiry.
Hirsch was unable to find most of the missing files on explosive issues from Kohl's tenure. The then government spokesman Uwe-Karsten Heye said that the suspicion had been confirmed that documents had been manipulated or partially removed. The chairmen of the committee of inquiry spoke of a "collective amnesia" in most of the witnesses interrogated. The will to enlightenment in large parts of the CDU has been tending towards zero since the change at the top of the party. SPD chairman Frank Hofmann said that this behavior made committee work more difficult in view of the lack of sanctions. According to Hofmann, there was an “illegal arm” of the CDU; In a closed system, as in the area of organized crime , he operated primarily with verbal agreements.
A former senior executive of the French oil company Elf Aquitaine claimed that the CDU under its chairman Helmut Kohl had been paid bribes by Elf Aquitaine for the acquisition of the Leuna refinery. According to André Tarallo , the payments were approved by the then President of France , François Mitterrand . Kohl had always denied that bribes from Elf Aquitaine had played a role in the party donation scandal surrounding the CDU. Since corresponding files about this process could not be found, this version could not be proven.
In January 2000, the Bonn Public Prosecutor's Office started investigations against Kohl on suspicion of infidelity.
On January 31, 2001, a hearing took place before the Berlin Administrative Court; in this including the anti-corruption expert and then was ODP -Bundesvorsitzende Uwe Dolata as Beige Invited present. He said: “Mr. Richter, imagine that you would steal a car. Imagine that where you live there is a law that says it is forbidden to steal cars. Imagine being caught stealing this car. Imagine not being convicted for stealing a car and being caught doing it - because there is no law that says you will be punished for the prohibited theft. This confusing logic is a reality in the German political party law ” , says Dolata. The court ruled that, despite the affair, the CDU did not have to forego its state grants.
On 3 March 2001, the agreed Bonn Regional Court of adjustment to the investigation against Kohl; But Kohl had to pay a fine of 300,000 DM. The court justified this approval with the words “because the legal situation is unclear and, even in the event of an indictment and possible conviction, if all the circumstances of the act and the perpetrator's personality were assessed, only a fine would probably be considered, which the voluntary payment under consideration would not be considered would exceed “and the lack of interest of the injured party himself (the CDU) in a further prosecution of the case. The court counted Kohl's political “commitment” and his “merits” and that the act “did not serve personal gain” as the mitigating circumstances. Likewise, the "personally degrading attacks in media coverage should be taken into account in a mitigating manner".
As a further mitigating circumstance, the court highlighted the “perpetrator-victim compensation”, “after the accused made amends by far for the CDU's financial disadvantage as part of a legal fundraising campaign, insofar as he is responsible for it”. Kohl had collected DM 6 million from entrepreneurs and celebrities in a new fundraising campaign and contributed DM 700,000 himself to alleviate the damage to the CDU. Among these donors were Uschi Glas , Heiner Lauterbach , Dieter Thomas Heck , Artur Brauner (50,000 DM) and Michael Holm . The largest amounts were donated by Leo Kirch with DM 1 million and Erich Schumann with DM 800,000.
On April 18, 2005, Kanther was sentenced in the first instance by the Wiesbaden Regional Court for breach of trust in accordance with the Criminal Code to a suspended sentence of 18 months and a fine of 25,000 euros. Kanther called the judgment “absurd”. The judge responsible, however, called it “absurd” that Kanther, as a former Federal Minister of the Interior, did not want to foresee the consequences of a law formulated in his house (the Federal Ministry of the Interior). The proceedings against Casimir Prince Wittgenstein were separated on March 15, 2004 and discontinued in 2005 for health reasons.
More donation affairs
In 2017, the ARD documentary filmmakers Stephan Lamby and Egmont R. Koch told the story of the CDU donation affair with the new punch line Bimbes - Helmut Kohl's black coffers . The first. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
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- Final report of the Bundestag investigation committee "Party donations" p. 95.
- Black money: Stasi overheard important CDU financial experts , Der Spiegel, March 28, 2000
- Interior Ministry confirmed: Stasi interception protocols destroyed in 1990 , Der Spiegel, April 3, 2000
- VG Berlin, judgment of January 31, 2001 ( Memento of February 28, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), Az. 2 A 25/00, full text.
- Ecology Policy Edition 3/2001
- The Rescue of the Grand Seigneur , Der Spiegel , February 26, 2007
- One against many: this is how Artur Brauner sees himself since he escaped the Nazis. , by Uta Schrenk Jüdische Allgemeine May 3, 2007
- Kohl's check pot
- LG Wiesbaden, judgment of April 18, 2005, Az. 6 Js 320.4 / 00 - 16 KLs
- CDU black money: imprisonment on probation , manager-magazin.
- Final report of the Bundestag committee of inquiry "Party donations" . (PDF; 6.08 MB).
- Assessment of the results of the Bundestag investigation committee “Party donations” by the responsible reporters from the SPD and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen . (PDF; 448 kB).
- Permanent excitement . A balance sheet by the committee of inquiry into the partydonation affair, Die Zeit , No. 24/2002.
- A drama in many acts. How CSU prosecutors disabled the case against Schreiber, Kiep & Co . Article from the weekly newspaper Die Zeit , No. 22/2000.
- Interview with the chairman of the investigation committee, Volker Neumann, on August 4, 2005, WDR5 ( Memento from September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 24 24 kB)
- The CDU donation affair - a chronology . Article of August 3, 2009 from the website of the daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel .
- Helmut Kohl: My diary. 1998-2000 . Munich 2000. (Helmut Kohl's presentation contradicts a large part of the information given in the article).
- ′ ′ CDU donation affair - Kohl's last secret ′ ′ Article by Rüdiger Scheidges in the ′ ′ Handelsblatt ′ ′ from August 19, 2015