NRW checking police holiday logs in Libya scandal

DDP/The Local
DDP/The Local - [email protected] • 7 Apr, 2008 Updated Mon 7 Apr 2008 08:04 CEST
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In the affair involving secret training of Libyan security forces by German police, Interior Minister Ingo Wolf for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has announced that the state will review the last few years of vacation records for all police special forces officers.

Local daily Westfalen-Blatt on Monday reported that Wolf wants to determine whether any of the some 700 officers in the NRW special police force have taken conspicuously long vacations.

Former head of BDB Protection GmbH, a company that organized training in Libyan security force schools between December 2005 and June 2006 told the paper they had only employed former German officers.

“They all had job contracts and it was all legal,” said 53-year-old former NRW special forces officer. He told the paper he had spoken with active officers who went to Tripoli to inform themselves about police actions there, “but none of them trained anyone,” he said.

According to the Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday, the alleged secret training of Libyan security forces by German police could have been in return for Tripoli's help in a Philippine hostage crisis.

The paper reported that the training might be connected to Libyan's mediation in securing the release of three Germans who were part of a group taken hostage by extremists in the southern Philippines in 2000.

According to the paper, then-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi spoke in 2004 about the training at an official meeting.

Payback is normal operating procedure for help in hostage releases, the paper wrote, citing unnamed sources close to the government. Berlin "owed something" to Qaddafi for his help in the situation, the paper wrote, quoting a source.

The scandal continues to grow and criticism is now being directed at German diplomats. According to a report in the news magazine Der Spiegel, the German embassy in Tripoli was aware of the program and were involved in detailed discussions with trainers.

Allegedly, former members of Germany’s GSG-9, the country’s elite anti-terror unit, founded a private security company that paid police and others on a freelance basis to do training for up €15,000 per trip. The policemen allegedly conducted the training without the knowledge of their superiors while on holiday or after taking unpaid leave.



DDP/The Local 2008/04/07 08:04

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