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Germany

Helmut Kohl to Testify in Corruption Case

A German court hearing corruption and tax fraud charges against a former junior defense minister said Tuesday it had called former chancellor Helmut Kohl as a witness at the request of the defense. Ludwig-Holger Pfahls, 62, who served as junior defense minister from 1987 to 1992 under then-chancellor Kohl, testified at the start of his trial on corruption and tax evasion charges that he had taken a total of about 1.5 million euros ($1.8 million) from arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber. Kohl will testify at the trial, in the southern city of Augsburg, on July 26 and may be followed by other former government members, including foreign affairs ministers Hans-Dietrich Genscher and Klaus Kinkel. Pfahls has admitted taking about 511,000 euros from Schreiber for shepherding the sale of 36 armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia during the 1991 Gulf War. He had earlier admitted to pocketing about one million euros over an 820-million-euro deal to sell armored vehicles to the United States the previous year.

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