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German parliament begins probe into Kunduz airstrike

Other News Materials 16 December 2009 15:01
The controversial Kunduz airstrike - which has already claimed the jobs of the German defence minister and military chief of staff - will become the subject of a parliamentary probe in Berlin on Wednesday.
German parliament begins probe into Kunduz airstrike

The controversial Kunduz airstrike - which has already claimed the jobs of the German defence minister and military chief of staff - will become the subject of a parliamentary probe in Berlin on Wednesday, DPA reported.

The air attack in September on two tankers commandeered by the Taliban but which also killed many civilians caused a major political row in Germany, eventually claiming the jobs of then-minister of defence, Franz Josef Jung, and former military Chief of Staff General Wolfgang Schneiderhan.

Now a 34-member permanent defence committee is to set up a special panel to establish the circumstances of the September 4 airstrike, in which a German officer ordered an attack on two hijacked fuel tankers in the northern Afghan province.

The head of the investigation committee, Social Democrat Susanne Kastner, said Wednesday that the committee would conduct most of its business in public, except for when military evidence was being handled.

In an interview with weekly Zeit newspaper published Wednesday, Schneiderhan accused current Minister of Defence Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg of "telling untruths" in relation to his sacking.

The new minister of defence had accused the general of withholding evidence about civilian casualties in the airstrike.

Guttenberg has already rejected calls for his resignation over his handling of the affair.

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