Kohl refuses to attend party meeting


Berlin - Germany's opposition Christian Democrats will try to repair the damage caused by Dr Helmut Kohl's campaign financing scandal at strategy talks starting today, from which the former chancellor will be conspicuously absent.

The party's general secretary, Ms Angela Merkel, said Dr Kohl, who was placed under criminal investigation this week, had declined to participate.

Dr Kohl has admitted he broke the law by secretly accepting two million marks in cash, but said he passed all of it to the party and never sold government favours.