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Bundeswehr: Superiors stopped amnesty amnesty at KSK

2021-03-02T23:31:21.159Z

Confidential investigation reports by the army show that it was clear to the investigators early on that the controversial ammunition collection campaign by KSK commander Kreitmayr was not only unauthorized, but also illegal.



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Soldiers train on the premises of the special forces command in Calw (archive photo from 2017)

Photo: Franziska Kraufmann / dpa

The investigation against KSK boss Markus Kreitmayr is expanding.

On Monday, his immediate superior, the commander of the Rapid Forces Division in Stadtallendorf, handed the case over to the Ministry of Defense.

There, the legal department is now examining how to proceed against the brigadier general from the small Black Forest town of Calw.

Kreitmayr is suspected of having committed a serious administrative offense.

He is threatened with a trial before the troop service court.

On Tuesday afternoon, the ministry handed over the army's confidential investigation reports to the Bundestag Defense Committee.

There, on Wednesday morning, head of department Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had to testify for the second time on the controversial ammunition collection campaign by the KSK commander.

Last week, the CDU woman had protested to the committee that she had only found out about the return campaign in February through an article in the »taz«.

The reports of the "Task Force Ammunition and Security-Sensitive Equipment" describe exactly how Kreitmayr's action came about.

According to this, an annual inventory of ammunition stocks in December 2019 found significant irregularities at the Special Forces Command.

Thousands of rounds of ammunition and 62 kilograms of explosives were missing.

"The results of this inventory were not reported to the superior department," says the task force's final report.

The "required report of an outstanding security incident" was also omitted.

Investigators assume booking errors

Instead, the KSK commander verbally ordered on March 24th to give all members of his unit the opportunity to »anonymously disclose ammunition, weapons, explosives and other ammunition parts that were in their possession without authorization«.

In the next few weeks, more than 46,000 "ammunition articles" were handed in, 90 percent of them maneuvering and training ammunition, ten percent combat ammunition.

The 62 kilos of explosives did not appear again, but the investigators are now assuming that it is "with a high degree of probability" a booking error.

When Kreitmayr's superior found out about the operation at the end of May, he ordered it to be stopped immediately, but his order was followed only hesitantly.

Ammunition was handed in in mid-June.

It is still unclear why the divisional commander's order was not immediately followed.

Even in their first interim report, the army investigators came to a clear assessment.

“The result of the 'Aktion Fundmunition' demonstrates grossly negligent handling of ammunition at all levels of the KSK,” they wrote in September, “the withholding of these quantities of found ammunition by soldiers and the anonymous delivery after request is unprecedented does not meet the requirements for the proper and safe handling of ammunition and the supervision of ammunition management. "

In the final report of the task force, which Army Inspector Alfons Mais signed last week, the assessment is even clearer: »The granting of the possibility of anonymously returning ammunition that was previously illegally owned runs counter to the superior's duty to investigate and can raise suspicion of an official offense and the Justify suspicion of a criminal offense ", it says there," the legal duty to clarify cannot be overridden by higher superiors. "

Why was the knowledge withheld from the Bundestag for months?

The reports of the task force show that it was clear to the investigators early on that the Kreitmayr action was not only unauthorized, but also unlawful.

But why was this knowledge withheld from the Bundestag for months?

Before the Defense Committee, Inspector General Eberhard Zorn took the blame on himself last week - also to protect the minister.

"From today's point of view, he admits", the confidential minutes of the meeting say, that in his first report to parliament in October "there should have been an initial reference to the ammunition return facilities in the KSK".

But the focus was now once "on the investigation in the context of the right-wing extremist suspected cases" at the KSK, according to the top soldier of the Bundeswehr.

Rifle aid gets anger from General Mais.

The army inspector wrote to his boss in a letter that was handed over to the committee that "the subject of ammunition was taken very seriously from the start."

But the focus of the investigation was "clearly on the risky,

missing

ammunition" and not on the "

excess

ammunition

that was collected in violation of the regulations, but was also seized

."

The opposition does not want to accept this.

"The army's investigation reports do not answer the question of who in the ministry's management knew about the amnesty and when," criticized the green defense politician Tobias Lindner.

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Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-03-02

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