German domestic intelligence chief stepping down
BERLIN - The Associated Press
Heinz Fromm, head of Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz), talks on a mobile phones as he attends a conference of federal and state ministers assessing the German security services' handling of a neo-Nazi terror cell in Berlin in this November 18, 2011 file photo. REUTERS PhotoThe head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is stepping down amid criticism surrounding investigations into a far-right group believed to have killed 10 people, mostly of Turkish origin, over several years.
Interior Ministry spokesman Markus Beyer said Monday that the 63-year-old will go into retirement at his own request at the end of this month. There was no immediate word on a successor.
The National Socialist Underground group evaded authorities’ detection for more than a decade until late last year. The domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, has taken part of the blame for that.
It also emerged recently that documents regarding the activities of informers paid by the state were destroyed.
Fromm has headed the intelligence agency since 2000.