I was duped, German intel chief says in neo-Nazi case
BERLIN - Anatolia News Agency
Heinz Fromm sits in the witness stand to testify before a parliamentary enquiry committee into the security services' handling of the NSU Neo-Nazi terror cell in Berlin, July 5, 2012. REUTERS Photo
Germany's outgoing domestic intelligence chief has claimed that his personnel deceived him on the progress of a case into the neo-Nazi murders of 10 people, including eight Turks, Anatolia news agency reported.
Fromm, who is set to take early retirement, told a parliamentary inquiry that he did not have a proper explanation for why crucial documents related to the investigation were destroyed, accusing his staff of covering the matter up.
"We couldn't find the right-wing connection during our investigations," Fromm said. "That was an analytical mistake."
Ceasing the search for the suspects after 2001 was a mistake as well, Fromm said.
The head of the department accused of destroying the related documents refused to provide any answers on the matter.
Fromm had been under fire since last November when it emerged that a far-right trio calling itself the National Socialist Underground (NSU) was likely behind the murders of eight Turks, a Greek and a German policewoman between the years 2000 and 2007.
The case broke open only when two members of the NSU were found dead in an apparent suicide pact and the other, a woman, turned herself in.
Investigators initially suspected criminal elements from the Turkish community were behind the rash of killings.
The intelligence chief finally agreed to leave his post after an interior minister official testified to a parliamentary committee last week that files with information about neo-Nazis were destroyed by agency employees.
Daily Bild said the shredded files showed that there was a list of 73 names of possible contacts for the security authorities in the far-right scene, including the two NSU members later found dead.