BERLIN -- New charges were leveled today against former chancellor Helmut Kohl over allegedly shady financial dealings during his tenure as chairman of the conservative Christian Democrats.

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported prosecutors investigating party finances have confiscated records indicating that the party's tax adviser split up large corporate contributions among anonymous escrow accounts to hide their origin.The money was then transferred from the "slush funds" to state branches of the party at Kohl's direction, according to the newspaper report.

Kohl was not available for comment today. The former chancellor, who still holds a seat in parliament, angrily intervened in a budget debate this week to demand a quick investigation of the mounting charges, which he has labeled false and slanderous.

The newspaper said no charges could be brought regarding the slush funds, which would have violated party financing laws, because the statute of limitations had expired.

However the report added to the dark cloud building over Kohl that threatens to overshadow his legacy.

Parliament intends to open a probe over charges that Christian Democratic party officials took bribes for approving a 1991 contract to sell military vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

An arms dealer has admitted handing $530,000 in cash to the party treasurer at a Swiss shopping center in 1991, but it's unclear where the money came from or where it ended up.

The Sueddeutsche report said Augsburg prosecutors investigating the case have found it difficult to support the Christian Democrats' contention that the money never showed up in party accounts. However, it said they found no evidence that Kohl was aware of details of the payment.

The Christian Democrats this week fired their tax adviser firm. General secretary Angela Merkel said the party itself wanted an "complete explanation" from the firm.