German entrepreneur guilty of tax evasion
In the first of the current political financing scandals to come to trial in West Germany, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur was dunned 420,000 marks ($140,000) by a Cologne court Monday for tax evasion. The entrepreneur, John-Werder Madaus, donated an untaxed 566,000 marks the Christian Democratic Party in the 1970s via party-related foundations and organizations.
Monday's headlines tossed out a new tidbit in the ongoing scandal by revealing that the junior partner in the center-right coalition, the Free Democrats, had accepted an anonymous donation of 6 million marks ($2 million) last year. Legally, political donors of amounts in excess of 20,000 marks must identify themselves, but the Free Democrats' treasurer, Irmgard Adam-Schwaetzer, told the newsmagazine Der Spiegel that nobody knew where this contribution came from.
Financial statements to be made public this week show that in 1983 donations to parties reached 40 million marks for the Christian Democrats; 17 million for their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union; 13 million for the Free Democrats; and 12 million for the Social Democrats.
As Bonn awaited Wednesday's testimony by Christian Democratic Chancellor Helmut Kohl on the scandal in Bundestag committee, the Bun-destag elected Philipp Jenninger as Speaker. He replaces Rainer Barzel, a fellow Christian Democrat who resigned after it was revealed that he had accepted 1.7 million marks in commissions for minimal work from the giant Flick conglomerate.