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Swiss legal assistance in CDU affair "not necessary"

Switzerland's ambassador to Berlin, Thomas Borer, says German prosecutors investigating secret donations to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have no need to obtain legal assistance from Switzerland.

This content was published on February 5, 2000 - 17:08

Switzerland's ambassador to Berlin, Thomas Borer, says German prosecutors investigating secret donations to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have no need to obtain legal assistance from Switzerland. Borer told the "Berliner Zeitung" newspaper that the matter could be cleared up fairly quickly.

Borer said that since the CDU had confirmed the existence of illicit Swiss bank accounts, it would be enough for the party to instruct the banks to make them available for scrutiny. He stressed that secrecy was not imposed by the banks but by the account holders.

A court in canton Nidwalden on Friday turned down a request from German prosecutors investigating alleged kickbacks from an arms deal in Saudi Arabia linked to the CDU affair. The prosecutors have 30 days to appeal.

The Swiss authorities have refused to name the account holders. But they are thought to include a former German state secretary in the defence ministry, Ludwig-Holger Pfahls, and a German arms dealer, Karlheinz Schreiber.

Pfahls is wanted for corruption and tax evasion, while Schreiber is thought to have arranged the sale of 36 German tanks to Saudi Arabia in 1991. In that same year, Schreiber handed over one million marks in cash to a CDU official in Switzerland.

From staff and wire reports


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