According to a report in the Thursday edition of daily newspaper Berliner Zeitung, German spooks spied on journalists up until last year. Ulrich Tilgner, a former correspondent for German public broadcaster ZDF, told the paper a high-ranking German diplomat in the Afghan capital Kabul warned him in 2007 he was under surveillance due to local contacts he made while investigating the case of an abducted German engineer.
“It was at that moment that it became clear to me that the laws in place in Germany are apparently tossed away by German officials abroad,” Tilgner told the paper.
The BND has come under fire recently after admitting intelligence agents had intercepted the email correspondence of another German reporter from newsmagazine Der Spiegel and an Afghan politician in 2006.
The intelligence committee of the German parliament will continue to address that case for a second day of hearings on Thursday. But the latest revelations are sure to increase pressure on BND director Ernst Uhrlau, who will face further questions from MPs on Thursday, to resign. Green MP Hans-Christian Ströbele said after Wednesday’s hearing that the affair would demand consequences for BND personnel.
And Hans-Peter Uhl, a conservative MP from Bavaria on the committee, told Die Welt newspaper that there was no more faith in “the BND leadership across the political spectrum.”