Germany denies any role in Libyan police training

The German government had no involvement in the controversial training of police in Libya by a private German security firm between 2005 and 2007, Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said on Monday.

Germany denies any role in Libyan police training
Ulrich Wilhelm, besieged by questions at a news conference about the role of 30 current and former police and soldiers in the training, said only one soldier had been on active service at the time and the sergeant had already been suspended.

"At no point was Germany or any federal agency involved in organising or carrying out training sessions in Libya," Wilhelm said.

He declined, however, to comment on whether the BND intelligence agency had knowledge of the training, which has caused a stir in Berlin -- even though it is unclear whether the police broke any German laws by moonlighting in Libya.

Several of those who went to Libya while still serving police officers used their annual holiday leave to join the courses for a few weeks, earning 15,000 euros ($23,500), according to media reports.

The sessions were organised by a now-defunct private security firm.

State prosecutors in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia have started a preliminary investigation into whether any of the eight police from that state had divulged police secrets to Libya in the training, which their superiors had not authorised.

Wilhelm said that Germany and Libya had cooperated on security issues during that period relating to the fight against international terrorism, organised crime and drug smuggling.

Last Mod: 07 Nisan 2008, 18:12
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