Berlin (AP) - In the parliamentary investigation of the consultant affair in the Ministry of Defense there is anger at the blackening of files.
According to MEPs, the Ministry handed over to the Inquiry Board documents on the controversial practice of contracting to consultants incompletely. Specifically, it is about the advice in the now stopped privatization of the state-owned HIL GmbH, the armored workshops of the Bundeswehr.
"When studying the files, we noticed that essential contents of the HIL documents were blackened and of 280 pages de facto only 40 were available," said the SPD delegate Dennis Rohde the "world" (Thursday). This is an untenable condition. The government's action was again "proof of the unwillingness of the Federal Government's plenipotentiary, Andreas Conradi."
AfD MP Rüdiger Lucassen spoke of "deliberate deception and criminal energy". Particularly explosive passages in a protocol were extensively blackened or removed by the Ministry of Defense. "This behavior also raises the question of what other evidence is withheld from the Bundestag. In addition, previously heard witnesses to the new findings could not be questioned, »he explained.
According to information from Lucassen, the corresponding protocol documents a shareholders' meeting on the privatization of HIL-Werke in conjunction with management consulting services. The protocol also states that an assignment was "not legally compliant".
The Ministry acknowledged that it had received the files incompletely. Blackening and removal were reviewed after a press release. "It was found that the folder in question at that time was processed incorrectly," said a spokeswoman. Parts of the minutes were therefore blackened or removed, "even though they would have been sent to the Committee of Inquiry after a careful appraisal of the inquiry and the evidence." The Ministry has now submitted the folder completely and without blackening, with the exception of personal data.
The use of external experts has cost under Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) a three-digit million amount. The Greens, the Left and the FDP are calling on the investigative committee, among other things, to clarify who has exercised control over the awarding of consultancy contracts. In addition, it is about so-called Kennverhältnisse, so a suspicion of nepotism, but also the fundamental clarification of the economy.