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Business

Ex-Chancellor Kohl Subject of New Investigation

Federal prosecutors in Berlin have begun preliminary investigative proceedings against former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Munich media tycoon Leo Kirch on suspicion that the two lied under oath during a party financing scandal probe in 1999. A spokeswoman for the federal Justice Department, Andrea Boehnke, said on Monday the accusation is based on minutes recorded by the former parliamentary Investigative Committee set to probe the slush fund scandal that disgraced Kohl and tainted his conservative party after his 1998 election defeat. German news magazine Der Spiegel reported earlier this year that Kirch had struck a consulting contract with Kohl, which supposedly made the former chancellor richer by 600,000 deutsche marks per year. Both Kohl and Kirch now stand accused of having concealed the payment as the well as the consulting contract from the investigative committee.