Ankara raises concerns over neo-Nazi case errors
The chairman of an parliamentary enquiry into the security services’ handling of the neo-Nazi cell Sebastian Edathy (L) shows the way to the head of Germany’s domestic spy service, Heinz Fromm (C) as he arrives to testify in Berlin. REUTERS photo
Turkey yesterday voiced concerns over Germany’s neo-Nazi case, which is investigating the murders of 10 people including eight Turks, as German lawmakers question the intelligence official responsible for destroying files related to the case.
Turkey urged German authorities to handle the probe sensitively, saying Ankara was closely watching the case. It is necessary that all related German authorities act with sensitivity in this and all other xenophobia and racism-related cases, in order to eliminate these dangerous movements, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The statement came just as German lawmakers were grilling members of the country’s intelligence agencies to try and determine how a small neo-Nazi group stayed off their radar for years, the Associated Press said. The government announced on July 2 that the agency’s head, Heinz Fromm, had requested and was granted early retirement.
Agenct refuses to talk
Questioning is centering on why documents related to the case were destroyed shortly after the lid was blown on the National Socialist Underground in November, and federal prosecutors asked other agencies to hand over information on the case. The parliamentary committee questioning a section head in the domestic intelligence agency identified only as “M,” who was responsible for destroying the seven files.
The official, “M,” invoked his right to refuse to testify about why he destroyed the files, lawmakers said - though he was willing to talk generally about the agency’s file-keeping practices. The files in question documented efforts to recruit informants from another far-right organization.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry voiced concern over the fact that the files were destroyed after the group’s links to the neo-Nazi cell were revealed.