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Germany

Ex-Defense Secretary Faces Extradition

Holger Pfahls, a former state secretary for defense under ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl faces extradition from France, where he was arrested in July after five years on the run, authorities in Paris announced Wednesday. Pfahls, who served in the German government from 1989 to 1992, is suspected of taking nearly €2 million ($2.4 million) in bribes in connection with the sale of 36 armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia and failing to declare the earnings. The German public prosecutor's office had appealed to the French court to approve extradition, but Pfahls had refused and a hearing was ordered for October, at which time the 61-year-old's lawyer, David Frerejacque, argued that the case against his client had expired. If the German again refuses extradition to Germany after Wednesday's ruling by the appeals court, he will be held in French prison until a final court decision is made. According to French and German law, for an extradition to go through, a crime must be punishable in both countries.

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