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Germany

Political Donations Scandal Engulfs Third Victim

The economics minister of the German state of Baden Württemburg and state leader of the business-friendly Free Democratic Party on Friday announced he would step down from his positions after admitting he had laundered donations from a controversial public relations executive. Prosecutors in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe investigating Walter Döring found that he had accepted a 10,000 deutschmarks (€5,000, $6,050) donation from PR consultant Moritz Hunzinger and then passed it on to the FDP's local chapter in the southern German city of Schwäbisch Hall under his own name in 1999. Up until now, Döring had denied any connection to Hunzinger. The Frankfurt-based executive has a penchant for showing his generosity to influential politicians, opening his doors to them and his deep pocketbooks. A growing list of politicians have been forced to resign from office during the past two years after it was found they accepted his largesse, including former Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping and ex-Green Party member of parliament Cem Özdemir. Prosecutors are investigating whether Döring committed perjury in relationship to the donations.

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