FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ It's an honor Helmut Kohl could do without.

A new program designed to wipe out computer files is named after the former chancellor _ a play on allegations that his government destroyed records that could show whether favors were traded for money.

The firm Alpenland said it christened the software ``helmut_kohl_datenloescher'' _ German for Helmut Kohl data eraser _ following charges that Kohl's administration cleared the chancellory's hard drives before leaving office in 1998.

The program is useful ``not only in government circles,'' the German-based company quipped.

The conventional way of erasing data clears it only from the file selected. But the data lingers in unused memory on the hard disk, and can be read with special software. The new program overwrites the data seven times with the numeral ''0'' so that it can't be reconstructed.

Kohl is scheduled to testify Thursday before a parliamentary committee investigating whether decisions were bought during his 1982-98 government, something Kohl denies.


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