Publication: Issued: Augsburg Date: 2002-07-23 Reporter: Sapa Editor:

Two German Executives Sentenced in Saudi Tank Sale Affair


Issued Augsburg
Date 2002-07-23
Reporter Sapa


A German court Tuesday handed down jail terms to two former executives of the Thyssen industrial group convicted of tax fraud in connection with the sale of armored cars to Saudi Arabia in 1991.

The court in the southern city of Augsburg sentenced Juergen Massmann to five years in prison and Winfried Haastert to two years and four months.

The men were charged with extorting almost six million euros (dollars) during the 228 million-euro sale of 36 armored cars. The sale was authorized by then chancellor Helmut Kohl, whose reputation has been shattered by a financial scandal of his own, and the German-Canadian arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber, who is also involved in the scandal over secret funds run by Kohl.

The investigation into this affair led to the revelation in November 1999 that Schreiber had given one million marks (510 million dollars) in a secret handover in a garage in Switzerland to Walther Leisler Kiep, then treasurer of Kohl's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.

This revelation set in motion the Kohl scandal.

With acknowledgement to Sapa.