The Flick Affair was a German political scandal of the early 1980s relating to political contributions by the Flick company, a major German conglomerate, to various political parties "for the cultivation of the political landscape". Otto Graf Lambsdorff, then minister for economic affairs, was forced to resign in 1984 after being accused of accepting bribes from Flick.
The Flick affair began in 1975 with a share trade where the Flick company sold shares worth 1.9 Billion Deutsche Mark from Daimler AG to the Deutsche Bank. In January of the following year, the Flick Company filed a tax exemption for this deal, which was approved by the federal minister Hans Friderichs and later also by his successorOtto Graf Lambsdorff.
Five years later, in 1981, the tax fraud investigator Klaus Förster found evidence that there had been money transfers from the Flick company to all parties in the German Bundestag. The cash book of the Flick company accountant Rudolph Diehl showed that next to other transfers, 250,000 Deutsche Mark was transferred to the CSU chairman Franz Josef Strauss and 565,000 Deutsche Mark were transferred to CDU chairman Helmut Kohl.
The Kohl government had tried to pass a bill in 1984 which implied that all politicians who had received tax deductions for donations to political parties would be given an amnesty.
Trial of the Flick affair
On February 16, 1987 Hans Friderichs and Otto Graf Lambsdorff were only found guilty of tax fraud and assistance to tax fraud. Both simply received a monetary penalty.Lambsdorff had to resign from his office as a federal minister and Friedrich had to step down as the CEO of the Dresdner Bank.
Investigation by the German Bundstag
In 1984 the German Bundstag found a committee to investigate the Flick Affair; They clarified that between 1969 and 1989 politicians of all major parties CDU, CSU, FDP and SPD had received money from the Flick company in the amount of 25 Million Deutsche Mark.
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