Former President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution Hans-Georg Maaßen
Photo: AXEL SCHMIDT/ REUTERS
The Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) refuses to give answers about Hans-Georg Maassen's performance as President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). This emerges from the answer to a minor question by Martina Renner, a member of the Bundestag, and the Left Party.
She wanted to know, among other things, whether Maaßen had ordered the deletion of data or documents or made corrections to reports by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. She also asked whether he had personally prevented information from being sent to other intelligence or law enforcement agencies.
The BMI writes that the answers "cannot be given due to the unreasonable effort". Renner had limited the request to the seven months around Maassen's meeting with the then AfD leader Frauke Petry in 2015. In August, Renner had already asked questions about the entire term of office.
According to the BMI, however, the BfV's ability to work would also be "unjustifiably restricted" by the request for the shortened period, for example because the electronic file system would "terminate the search on the system side from the 1000th document".
The system would also "not be able to recognize whether it is a person's name and whether there is any identity with a specific person or circumstance at all," according to the ministry.
"Some of the refusal has grotesque features," says Renner. Above all, when the BMI writes that the file system cannot recognize whether hits, for example to Hans-Georg Maassen, are about him or someone with an identical name.
However, a comprehensive reappraisal of the term of office by the technical supervision of the BMI and parliament is "unavoidable", according to Renner, after all, the former president of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution openly represents extreme right-wing positions. It must be clarified "to what extent Maaßen used his position of power to implement his extreme right-wing agenda during his time in office."
Maaßen has always rejected accusations of this kind. He had been president of the BfV from 2012 to 2018, then was dismissed because of his controversial statements about xenophobic riots in Chemnitz. The meetings with Petry, which Renner is also concerned about, also caused trouble: In November 2015, when the AfD was not yet in the Bundestag, Maaßen met her twice.
In between, he took part in a meeting at the Saarland Ministry of the Interior, which dealt with the AfD state association and its proximity to right-wing extremist groups. There will soon be enough reasons to have the party in Saarland monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, it said. According to an AfD board member, Maaßen is said to have warned Petry about right-wing extremist activities in Saarland – a little later, the federal party announced that it would dissolve the state association.