HC 837Written evidence submitted by Andrej Hunko, Member of the German Bundestag [UP 03]
INFORMATION ON SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS BY BRITISH UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATORS IN GERMANY/INFORMATION FOR THE INDIVIDUALS AFFECTED
I follow the issue of British undercover policing since December 2011, when Mark Kennedy was disclosed by UK activists. I therefore made several parliamentarian initiatives to receive answers from the German government about the deployment of British undercover police in Germany. I was very interested in the international structures, where British undercover operations are discussed and evaluated. Please see the report from Matthias Monroy “The exchange of Anglo-German undercover police highlights controversial police operations” on Statewatch (http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-146-undercover-exchange-protests.pdf).
The German Home Affairs Committee was able to see a blank contract where this kind of exchange is normally based on. We are not allowed to distribute the document. But it is explained that it is forbidden for undercover police to commit crimes.
Nevertheless, Mark Kennedy was accused and found guilty of an arson attack in Berlin. But he was giving evidence in court under his false name to escape legal proceeding under his real name.
We are also still trying to know more about the usage of sexual relationships by undercover agents and the legal situation of this procedure.
Many of my efforts to clarify the collaboration were answered, that the German government cannot provide information. It should be requested in the United Kingdom.
Last week I sent a letter to the German and British Home Affairs Ministers, Mr. Hans-Peter Friedrich and Ms. Theresa May. I explained how I follow the court case against the Met regarding sexual relationships with activists. In interviews which Mark Kennedy gave to the British media we read that his police superiors were at all times informed of where he was spending the night (which I assume would apply to all other officers working under cover). Mark Kennedy openly admits that the accusations against him are true.
Mark Kennedy and “Marco Jacobs” were also deployed on several occasions in Germany, including around the time of the G8 summit in Heiligendamm in 2007 and the 2009 NATO summit in Strasbourg. After their identities became known I asked the Federal Government about their activities several times (see, for example, Bundestag Printed Paper 17/4333 of 22 December 2010).
I also asked if undercover investigators in Germany had sexual relationships with persons they were investigating or with their contacts. In January 2011 the head of the Bundeskriminalamt (Federal Criminal Police Office), Jörg Ziercke, told the Bundestag’s Committee on Internal Affairs that that would be “absolutely inacceptable”.
However, the Federal Ministry of the Interior told me that the Federal Government does not really have any information on this because no one involved has made a complaint. In a reply to my oral question the Federal Government merely points to the general rights of any German party to have the “actions” of undercover investigators “referred to the courts” (Minutes of plenary proceedings 17/83).
But in my view both the German and British authorities have an obligation here. After all, it is possible that persons involved may not yet have learned the true identity of the police officers Mark Kennedy or “Marco Jacobs” and may still think of the two men as good friends or partners. It is also conceivable that individuals investigated by the British police officers have not yet heard about the inquiries and court proceedings in the UK.
In its answer to my recent parliamentary initiative the Federal Ministry of the Interior wrote on 18 January 2013 that “entering into relationships of that kind as part of an investigation” is not permitted (Written Question 1/166). It is not allowed in any area of the Federal Government’s responsibility, including all German authorities. The Ministry emphasises that this also applies to foreign police agents operating in Germany.
The Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Bundeskriminalamt as the international point of contact responsible for exchanges of undercover investigators must, therefore, obtain clarification from the British authorities as to whether Mark Kennedy or “Marco Jacobs” also used personal and sexual relationships in Germany in order to obtain information. And the same applies to any of their fellow-officers.
So if any British police officers have acted in this way, persons affected by their actions and living in Germany must be apprised of this illegal activity and told that they have the option of bringing criminal proceedings in Germany and a civil action in the United Kingdom.
I asked that all exchange of personal data between Germany and the UK to inform people that were spied upon by Mark Kennedy and “Marco Jacobs” should only be used for the purpose of providing these persons concerned with information about the covert investigations conducted, to ensure that they have appropriate legal protection.
I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that Mark Kennedy told the British press about a modified wristwatch which he routinely used to record conversations in a room and later analysed with his superiors. According to what the Federal Ministry of the Interior told me, it is not known whether he did this in Germany too.
As you might know, spying operations like this require a warrant. So it may be that there has been yet another breach of the law here. I would thus ask you to take action on this too and liaise as appropriate with the German Land (federal state) police forces for which Mark Kennedy worked.
To my knowledge, the Länder in question are Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Baden-Württemberg, which have concluded agreements on the matter with the British police. But there is also the Land Berlin, where Mark Kennedy spent time “buttressing his cover story”, according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
However, we still do not know who he was working for there. In order that action may also be taken against any breaches of the law by British police officers in the capital of Germany, I asked Ms. May to say who was responsible for ordering their deployment in Berlin and which German authorities received reports about it.
I am extremely critical of the growing internationalisation of police work. This case shows that due legal process, above all, is rendered difficult or even totally impossible by the need for cross-border cooperation.
So I view this as a judicial precedent and I call on the British Government and the Federal Government to work energetically for its resolution. Maybe you can help on this.