BND intelligence agency loses HQ blueprints

Secret building plans for the new headquarters of Germany's BND Intelligence agency have disappeared and a high-ranking employee is suspected of downloading porn to his work computer, according to media reports.

BND intelligence agency loses HQ blueprints
Photo: DPA

Focus magazine’s website reported that the plans for the new headquarters – which should be finished in the next few years – feature sensitive information such as location of alarm systems and anti-terrorism equipment. Theft by unknown elements is suspected.

A BND representative told Die Welt newspaper that the documents were likely leaked by a construction contractor.

“It’s obvious the papers were passed on from there,” he said.

The agency declined comment officially on the situation. But a spokesman for the Chancellery told Focus the government had ordered a complete investigation and has asked security officials to prepare an evaluation of security measures.

The BND has also been rocked by the porn allegations – allegedly a high-ranking employee downloaded internet porn onto his work computer.

According to Die Welt the worker fell under suspicion in March after a routine check by in-house technicians. They also found that he had made purchases on eBay. In general, private use of BND computers is strictly prohibited.

The discovery may be particularly embarrassing because the man is a key department head and a confidante of the intelligence agency’s president, Ernst Uhrlau, Die Welt.

The Local/mdm

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101-year-old former Nazi guard pleads innocent in German trial

A 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard on Monday once again denied being complicit in war crimes during the Holocaust as his trial drew to a close in Germany.

101-year-old former Nazi guard pleads innocent in German trial

Josef Schütz, the oldest person so far to face trial over Nazi crimes during World War II, is accused of involvement in the murders of 3,518 prisoners at the Sachsenhausen camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, between 1942 and 1945.

The pensioner, who now lives in Brandenburg state, has pleaded innocent throughout the trial, saying he did “absolutely nothing” and was not aware of the gruesome crimes being carried out at the camp.

“I don’t know why I am here,” he said again at the close of the proceedings, his voice wavering.

Dressed in a grey shirt and pyjama bottoms and sitting in a wheelchair, Schütz insisted he had had nothing to do with the atrocities and was “telling the truth”.

READ ALSO: Ex-Nazi death camp secretary who fled trial to face court in Germany

Prosecutors say he “knowingly and willingly” participated in the crimes as a guard at the camp and are seeking to punish him with five years behind bars.

But Schütz’s lawyer, Stefan Waterkamp, said that since there were no photographs of him wearing an SS uniform, the case was based on “hints” of his possible involvement.

“As early as 1973, investigators had information about him but did not pursue him. At the time, witnesses could have been heard but now they are all dead or no longer able to speak,” Waterkamp said.

Former Nazi guard

The 101-year-old former Nazi guard covers his face at the Neuruppin courthouse. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer

It would be a mistake for the court to try to “make up for the mistakes of a previous generation of judges”, the lawyer said.

Antoine Grumbach, 80, whose father died in Sachsenhausen, told AFP Schuetz “does not want to remember”, calling it “a form of defence”.

The trial was not just about “putting a centenarian in prison”, he said. It had also produced evidence that Sachsenhausen was an “experimental extermination camp”.

“All the cruellest methods were invented there and then exported,” Grumbach said.

READ ALSO: Trials of aging Nazis a ‘reminder for the present’, says German prosecutor