Status: 02/21/2021 5:25 p.m.
KSK soldiers were allowed to return misappropriated ammunition last year – without any negative consequences. The Defense Commissioner of the Bundestag, Högl, is now calling for the affair to be fully investigated.
By Volkmar Kabisch, Martin Kaul and Sebastian Pittelkow,
NDR / WDR
Elite soldiers of the Special Forces Command (KSK) were allowed to hand in misappropriated ammunition last year without any consequences. This controversial “amnesty” campaign by a special unit of the Bundeswehr is now also occupying the defense commissioner of the German Bundestag, Eva Högl (SPD).
“ The inventory of weapons and ammunition must be fully documented and traceable, also and especially in a special unit like the KSK,” said Högl, who watches over compliance with the principles of “inner guidance” in the Bundeswehr, in an interview with the ARD. With regard to the “amnesty” affair at the Special Forces Command (KSK), she is now calling for “absolute transparency and clarification of all issues”.
Missing ammunition and other armaments
The re have been reports in the Bundeswehr of missing ammunition and other armaments for years. This became particularly evident when investigators from the State Criminal Police Office in Saxony found several thousand rounds of ammunition and two kilograms of plastic explosives from the Bundeswehr in the garden of a commando soldier last May. This currently has to answer to court in Leipzig
Federal Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) then disbanded a KSK company and announced that it would sweep through the elite unit with an “iron broom”. In addition, a general inventory of missing ammunition was arranged.
“Bookkeeping” and “counting errors”
In a first interim report, the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr announced in November 2020 that a large part of the ammunition lost was due to “improper bookkeeping” and “counting errors”. The “amnesty” at the KSK was not mentioned in the report.
Högl therefore considers the interim report to be “incomplete”. If the ministry was unaware of this “amnesty”, it would put a considerable strain on the entire process of education and reform. Högl therefore now has doubts about the educational and reform process. The se “must be cleared up quickly – by Commander Markus Kreitmayr and Federal Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer.”
Return – without consequences
Had on Friday Ed and WDR reported about an unprecedented “amnesty” campaign in the KSK. In the spring of 2020, soldiers were allowed to return misappropriated ammunition for weeks – “without having to fear negative consequences for the soldiers concerned,” according to an internal protocol.
In view of an impending ammunition check, the KSK was worried that it would not be able to explain where thousands of rounds of ammunition had gone. However, the collection campaign ended with a problem: It probably came together a lot more than was previously missing. In addition to tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, hand grenades and smoke grenades are said to have been in the “amnesty boxes”.
Lawyers therefore see the action as a possible thwarting of punishment in office. Because the “amnesty” action was after research by Ed and WDR been commanded by the commander level of the elite unit.
Who ordered that?
New details on the affair are expected no later than Wednesday. The left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag has put the issue on the agenda of the Defense Committee. Tobias Pflüger, deputy chairman of the party Die LINKE and a member of the committee, expects answers by then at the latest, who ordered and approved the “amnesty”. “If this was actually the commander of the Special Forces Command (KSK), Kreitmayr, not only is he no longer tenable,” said Pflüger. Kramp-Karrenbauer had to clarify the process and present the consequences.