2649 Belege

2,649 pieces of evidence” which have been collected in a report that will be used in preliminary discussions of another runup to an attempt at banning the far-right German political party NDP (“usually described as a neonazi organization“) for violating the German Constitution. Every failed attempt to ban the NPD apparently has worse consequences than if they hadn’t made the effort, which is one reason why Federal Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) said he’s skeptical about the current process. In 2003, the high court in Karlsruhe could not ban the NPD because too many people involved with the party and trial had been paid informants (V-people) for various government agencies. The current report has acknowledged that pitfall by collecting its 2,649 evidence items from public statements rather than testimony from potentially compromised witnesses.

On 5 Dec 2012 one of the small number of government institutions (Bundesverfassungsorgane, lit. “Federal Constitution Organs”) authorized to petition to ban a political party in Germany—in this case the state governors, who were also the group behind this report—unanimously voted to try again to ban the NPD. As Tagesschau.de explained in an online guide to this procedure, the hurdles for banning a political party in Germany are quite high due to lessons learned during the Weimar Republic.

Update on 22 Nov 2013: The federal states announced their petition to ban the N.P.D. party is now complete and will be submitted to the supreme constitutional court [Bundesverfassungsgericht] in Karlsruhe in early December 2013. The federal parliament, Bundestag, and federal government had decided not to join a new attempt at a ban, after failing to achieve one ten years ago before the court in Karlsruhe. The N.P.D. is currently experiencing financial troubles.

Update on 03 Dec 2013: The petition to ban the N.P.D. was submitted to the Bundesverfassungsgericht, which will decide whether to hear the case. Only two political party bans were ever issued in the Federal Republic of Germany, and both were more than fifty years ago, said ARD tagesschau.de legal correspondent Christoph Kehlbach.

(TSVYE t ow! zant, ZEX hoond errrt, N OY! N   oond   FEER tsig   beh LAY geh.)

Bouffier

The slightly creepy governor of Hesse, which includes the financial metropole Frankfurt am Main. The guy he replaced, Roland Koch, was also slightly creepy.

Bouffier it turns out was Hesse’s interior minister when the bank-robbing neonazi serial killers shot someone with an immigrant background in Kassel in 2006. Bouffier forbade direct interrogation of any V-people in the matter, even though a V-man of the Hessian Verfassungsschutz happened to be sitting in the café at the time of the murder.

Update on 02 Oct 2013: The “V-man” in question, Andreas T., was not a “Vertrauensmann” or police snitch being “run” and paid by the Hessian Verfassungsschutz but was in fact a Verfassungsschutz official who worked for that domestic intelligence agency. This week he testified at the Munich trial of the surviving neonazi terrorist cell member. He, and two other customers who were there when café operator Halit Yozgat was shot, said they didn’t hear the sound of the shot or thought a computer had been dropped in the next room. The Verfassungsschutz official walked out of the café without noticing or helping the dying man. At the neonazi’s trial, Halit’s father described how he found his son lying on the floor and held him as he died.

After the murder was announced in the news, Andreas T. still didn’t report in that he’d been at the café when it happened. In his trial testimony, he said this was because he’d been flirting with several women online while his wife was pregnant. For years, Kassel police suspected the victim’s family and friends of having committed the murder. Now German voters suspect state and federal police and/or spies of a cover-up, because their actions taken together made it look like that might be a possibility.

(Boof yay.)

Rechtsextremismus-Datei

The federal government of Germany has created a central file to collect data on right-wing extremists who are willing to use violence. The file is not intended to collect data on nonviolent people with right-wing extremist thoughts and feelings. All German government entities investigating violent right-wingers are to send all their relevant information to this central file. ZDF heute journal says this is the first visible structural governmental change made in response to the recently discovered organizational failures.

Leftists parliament member Petra Pau (Die Linken) says if this central file had existed during the thirteen-year rampage of a recent neonazi terrorist cell it would not have solved the case because the investigating police never considered the murderers might be right-wingers, deciding instead the killings were due to immigrants’ fighting amongst themselves. There was an institutional failure to consider neonazis dangerous. Tagesschau.de notes that right-wing extremist V-people, paid informants, will not be registered as informants in the new file.

(WRECKED ex tray miz moose   dot EYE.)

Bundeskriminalamt, BKA

Federal-level German police. Like the Verfassungsschutz, the German police are managed in state and federal offices with some degree of mutual autonomy.

Thirteen suspects are under investigation by Germany’s Attorney General (Generalbundesanwalt) in the matter of the neonazi terror cell that murdered people of immigration backgrounds for more than 13 years without getting caught. The Berlin state police (Berlin Landeskriminalamt) are now in trouble after the investigating parliamentary committee discovered, last week, that one of these suspects, who supplied explosives to the neonazi terrorists, was a paid informant to the Berlin police. From 2001 to 2011. Berlin state interior minister Frank Henkel (CDU) found out about this in Feb. 2012 and informed Germany’s Attorney General about it in March 2012. But, says this Spiegel-Online article, the investigating committee in Berlin only found out about it last Thursday morning (13 Sept. 2012), and was informed not by the state of Berlin but by Germany’s Attorney General.

“Hardliner” law-and-order Berlin state senator, and Berlin interior minister in charge of the Berlin police, Frank Henkel (CDU) is now being asked by the SPD party to finally provide all relevant files or resign from government.

The Berlin police received at least five tips from the TNT-delivering V-man between 2001 and 2005 reporting hearsay about the location of the underground cell, but they didn’t forward the information to Thuringian Verfassungsschutz, which had been actively looking for the bank-robbing neonazi serial killers since 1998. Federal Verfassungsschutz even routinely investigated this informant for a security clearance once when he applied for a “sensitive job,” and gave him the clearance because the Berlin police hadn’t passed on the fact that he was their connected neonazi. Thuringian Verfassungsschutz apparently didn’t pass on much about him either. He won’t be charged for supplying explosives to the right-wing terror cell, due to the statute of limitations.

(BOON dess CREAM een oll omt.)

Ägide

Aegis.

The Erfurt committee investigating the cell of neonazi serial murderers who only got caught posthumously (after they decided to commit suicide while setting their apartment on fire) has invited Helmut Roewer back to answer difficult questions about how Thuringian Verfassungsschutz paid ultimately-unhelpful neonazi informants 1.5 million euros in cash under Roewer’s aegis. 1.5 million is a lot to be unaccounted for or misspent in German government. Roewer was in charge of the state Thuringian Verfassungsschutz office from 1994 to 2000.

Roewer also appears to have personally made unusually high information payments to a “Günther” who was known only to Roewer and does not appear in the agency’s other files. Tax authorities have been asked to look into whether all V-people payments were properly reported on individuals’ income tax returns, as income to social welfare offices, and by Thuringian Verfassungsschutz as outgo.

If I understand this correctly, in 2006 Germany’s federal government ruled that informants receiving money from Verfassungsschutz and the Bundesnachrichtendienst owe 10% tax on those monies. Normal tax rates would range between 15% and ~42%.

(Ague EE deh.)

V-Mann, V-Frau

“V men” are police snitches in certain milieux. For a long time I thought V in this case stood for Verfassungsschutz, but apparently it stands for Verbindungs– or Vertrauens-? In the latter case, the paid informants in the German right-wing scene who have supplied questionable information to the police might actually be called “confidence men.”

Update on 4 Sept. 2012: The Thuringian state Verfassungsschutz office apparently ignored its own rules for selecting V-people. German constitutional law requires V-people to be neither leaders nor criminals, “yet V-men in Thuringia often fulfilled both those criteria,” according to Der Spiegel. Furthermore, the Thuringian Verfassungsschutz paid for lawyers, cars, computers and workshop rent for these guys, “keeping the neonazis mobile” as left-wing Thuringian state parliamentarian Martina Renner (Die Linke) described it.

Update on 15 Sept. 2012: Not only police kept V-people. German foreign intelligence, domestic intelligence (state and federal), military intelligence, and police (state and federal) paid V-people for information. Vertrauen means trust or confidence. As Spiegel-Online noted in this excellent article about one of the Berlin police’s neonazi V-men, it is not always clear in these situations who is trusting whom.

Update on 4 Nov 2012: The new head of German Verfassungsschutz, Hans-Georg Maaßen, has called for a central national register of all V-people. This must replace the current system wherein each German state pays its own set of informants and is not required to share information about them, he told the Welt am Sonntag. “Central knowledge is indispensable for effective management of the federal and state V-people.”

Update on 8 Dec 2012: The central list of V-people will go active by 1 Jan 2013.

Update on 4 Feb 2013: There is an argument in the committee investigating the band of neonazi serial killers because a government office refused to have a V-man connected to the cell, “Thomas R.,” appear to testify before the committee. Apparently the bureaucrats running the V-people were and remain also assured complete secrecy and apparent immunity.

Update on 5 Feb 2013: Europol used V-people in its investigation of the UEFA and FIFA soccer betting scandal that so far has turned up at least 380 manipulated games around the world between 2008 and 2011, with profits of at least 8 million euros in Germany alone. In this investigation Europol also accessed phone conversations and evaluated 13,000 emails.

Update on 27 Apr 2013: As part of their 2013 election platform, the Green Party wants to get rid of all V-people.

Update on 23 May 2013: The federal + states commission investigating the investigation of the neonazi serial killers published its highly critical report, which included a recommendation to continue the option of immunity for V-people who commit crimes. Saying such crimes were scarcely avoidable, commission spokesman and Munich attorney Prof. Eckhart Müller indicated the immunity was actually for the government officials paying the V-people, to keep these authorities from being prosecuted under German laws against incitement to crime.

Update on 16 Jul 2014: After a V-Mann testified this week that he gave his snitching fees to the neonazi bank-robbing cell of serial killers—he was available to testify inter alia because he’s been arrested for sexual abuse of a child—someone leaked a 1997 letter to ZDF in which the federal police firmly warn Verfassungsschutz about V-people, saying some were in “exposed positions” and fearing there could be an “incendiary effect.” By this I think they mean now that the authorities were paying neonazi leaders good money, though it sounds like at the time these words could mean they were worried about their sources’ safety. They think now there were seven paid V-people who were in contact with the neonazi serial killers. The 1997 letter mentions two of them by name.

In 1998 the authorities found a bomb-making workshop used by the cell, with one of the terrorist’s contacts list in it. The list was never used by investigators—perhaps because it contained the names of many V-people?

The Thuringian state legislature has passed stricter rules for the V-people paid by Thuringian state Verfassungsschutz. The income cannot be the source’s livelihood. Also, the Thuringian Verfassungsschutz has been made a part of the state’s interior ministry; previously, it was independent.

(F OW! mon. F OW! frrr ow!.)

Blog at WordPress.com.