A German-Canadian arms dealer is in custody in Germany after losing a last ditch appeal against his extradition. Prosecutors accuse Karlheinz Schreiber of tax evasion, bribery and fraud.
The 75-year-old denies any wrongdoing, claiming the charges are politically motivated ahead of national elections. But, Schreiber is now being held in the Bavarian capital having lost his ten year fight. The chief prosecutor Reinhardt Nemetz said: ‘‘There could be, depending on which sentences are pronounced for the different charges, an overall jail term of up to 15 years.” Schreiber was also a key figure in a political fundraising scandal surrounding former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. The businessman admitted giving donations to Kohl’s Christian Democrat party, something current German chancellor Angela Merkel described as a tragedy for the CDU. Merkel, who was elected leader of the party in 2000, was able to escape much of the scandal by distancing herself from Kohl. Polls put the CDU well ahead of rivals the Social Democrats with elections just weeks away.